Leading Operations Online

Here’s an experiment I’m dying to try out: At the next industry event (AdMonsters or other), I want to see how quickly the conversation about header bidding turns into potshots aimed at Google. Based on what I’ve seen lately, my guess is that it’s almost as fast as the response time of a typical header bidding partner.

Lost in a lot of the discussion is that header bidding has been around for a long time. I recall Criteo pushing header bidding back in 2013 at AdMonsters Publisher Forums, though it didn’t have a “sexy” name like header bidding.

The wide publisher adoption of header bidding is relatively recent and it’s because people figured out that the system was rigged: the auction process was conducted to the advantage of Google and not the publishers from a revenue standpoint (read more about it here). Once word got out that publishers were seeing double-digit revenue growth with this...

The other week when someone asked me by email if I was going to Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, I wrote back, “Do I look like I’m the type to go to Cannes? If I wanted to go to an overcrowded waterfront with a bunch of bloated Europeans, I’d catch a train to Brighton Beach.

“In other words: no, the company wouldn’t pay for it and I’m going to drown my sorrows in kvass at Brighton Beach.”

I haven’t really cared about Cannes in the past because itseemed like a bit of a creative agency… “Mutual admiration society” is the non-vulgar term. The only plus side would be drinking on someone else’s tab while enjoying sunsets on the French Riviera. I’d just hope they’d have something to drink other than Rosé. (Cognac? Well, I guess if there’s no bourbon…)

However, in the last few years a voice has been saying inside my head (in a...

Here at AdMonsters, we often think of ourselves as the TMZ of the digital advertising world. No, we don’t stealthily follow around the digital directors of media companies to catch them in compromising positions (and if we did, you couldn’t prove it), but we are on top of every trend like maple syrup on hotcakes. This is mainly thanks to our streetwise (and exchange-wise) sources like Lizzie Komar, Senior Director of Research and Insights at Index Exchange. (Check out the extremely informative Knowledge Exchange Blog.)

In a hush-hush meeting at a non-descript parking garage, Komar gave us the lowdown on the programmatic grapevine: how header implementations are bumping up CPMs, the current state of header and video, the server-to-server dealio, which politicians are dropping fat stacks into programmatic channels in the current election season, and what’s up with those crazy Canadians and their private marketplaces.

GD: What programmatic and...

“This is not a silver-bullet conference,” said AdMonsters Publisher Rob Beeler in his opening remarks at OPS NY this past June 7. “Does anyone make or use silver bullets anyway?”

This was tamed down from my suggestion that any one of the 800 attendees using the term “silver bullet” be flogged on the spot, but it got the same message across: OPS is not about finding magical fixes (or snake oil, depending on your perspective) for digital media monetization and marketing troubles. Instead, it’s about recognizing the myriad issues plaguing our industry, drawing them out to the forefront via discussion, and discovering together the path forward.

But that makes the massive day of sessions and discussions sound much more dull (or painful) than it was. I moderated six or seven conversations (I lost count) throughout the day, and was surprised how much I felt I learned. Suddenly where digital media is headed seems a lot clearer, though I’m sure a few curveballs and acquisitions (...

One of the key mantras of digital media has long been “the right ad to the right person at the right time.” Frequently promised, it’s debatable how well that goal has been delivered upon. Data is essential in transacting on programmatic deals, and while the transparency and depth of insights in that data has evolved greatly, the metrics on which those deals are transacted are still lagging somewhere behind. The digital marketplace has evolved to target individual people. The preferred model for programmatic, though, is the CPM model, and that’s been the case for 20 years now.

Sonobi has just released a white paper—the third in a series on what the next iteration of programmatic might look like—called “Evolution of a Market—Impression to People: Cost per Viewable Person—The Metrics That Matter.” In it, white paper author and Sonobi CEO Michael Connolly argues this model...

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