Leading Operations Online

Looks like the AdMonsters editorial team chose just the right moment to get out of cloudy, autumnal New York City, and the right destination. La Jolla, CA is about as sunny and warm as any travel agent would want us to believe. These are prime conditions for AdMonsters Publisher Forum 37, for sure...

I mean that in more ways than one. Last night at the Forum's opening reception, it was striking how far publishers have come just since the last Pub Forum in Charleston, SC, in August. There's a real urgency to get to the bottom of issues around HTML5, viewability and ad blocking, the major themes in Charleston. In August, we didn't have a dedicated header bidding session, but by the second day that topic was trending hard in the hallways. Now more or less everyone is doing header bidding -- or at least that's how it seems -- and as AdMonsters Publisher Rob Beeler pointed out, we don't really hear from pubs that they're doing header bidding and it's not working for them. We're going to be looking at this topic more closely this week, and we're confident that with all the topics we covered last time, publishers will have a slightly different approach and fresh...

We’re two months past Sept. 1, the date when Google Chrome started detecting and pausing any Flash content it deemed “unimportant” to a page’s main content — in other words, Flash ads. Mozilla’s own Flash-blocking practices preceded Chrome’s, in practice.

And yet, not only has the internet not broken itself, but creatives are still building ads with Flash. So what happened? Why aren’t agencies and publishers getting the message that Flash is dead?

Browser and device compatibility be damned, a whole lot of creative people are still building with Flash because it’s what they know. Flash has been around for a lot longer, there are more toolkits and tutorials out there for Flash than there are for HTML5, and some creatives simply prefer Flash’s animation functionality. And of course there’s the issue of file size, and pushback from creative agencies about building in significantly weightier HTML5 formats. Publishers are seeing a continuous stream of Flash creative coming through the door, and they need quick solutions for dealing with that creative while, without universal browser support, it’s basically dead in the water.

In order to implement those...

There’s a curious thing about DMPs: Publishers generally understand it’s a good idea for them to be aligned with one. A DMP is supposed to help publishers get the most value for their proprietary data, and to pass along the value of its audience extension capabilities to advertisers. But at the same time, publishers generally can’t say much about how DMPs have driven revenue for them. At AdMonsters, we’d gone forth into the publisher community in search of useful DMP case studies. While we certainly heard a few, they were voices in the wilderness. Far more publisher ops said they’d enlisted the services of a DMP, and they were at a loss to figure out what to do next and how to make any money from these things.

That’s not how it was supposed to work, we thought. So we sat down with...

For years and years we’ve been told that if the click isn’t on its deathbed, it should be shivved to death immediately. While early display ads in the mid-90s could boast CTRs above 40%, the likely number you’ll see attached to a campaign these days is below 0.1%. But for some reason, even in 2015, click-through rate remains as vital to digital ad measurement although its importance is widely ridiculed.

Reliance on the click means delivering unfathomable amounts of ad impressions to users, which has hyper-inflated the value of the pageview. This has led to a broken advertising system that rewards quantity over quality. Instead of building audiences, digital publishers are chasing traffic, trying to lure users to sites via “clickbait” headlines where the user is assaulted with an array of intrusive ad units. The end effect is overwhelming, ineffective ads adjacent to increasingly shoddy content.

However, the rise of digital video and...

The scourge of digital advertising! The killer of revenue! The savior of our industry!

Most supply-siders (perhaps grudgingly) will agree with the digital media masses that consider viewability a good thing for the industry. In a perfect world, advertisers would only be charged for ads that were seen; as the most measurable medium, not only would this legitimize digital ad channels but also set them apart from (or even above) their print and linear cousins.

Viewability measurement is making good on this dream, although the path there has had its share of frustrations. Beyond that, by adding time into the campaign equation, viewability is a solid first push toward attention metrics. In guaranteeing against viewability, the value of quick-hit impressions drops dramatically. According to research from Chartbeat, 54% of page views garner less than 15 seconds of user time; when users spend less than 15 seconds on a page,...

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