🌯 DSPs Google PAAPI Spend; Pinterest’s Performance+ AI Tool; TTD V. Yahoo

AdMonsters Wrapper: The weekly ad tech news wrap up
This Week
June 17, 2024
How Are DSPs Spending With Google's PAAPI?
Pinterest's AI Tool Performance+
Ad Tech Shakedown: TTD V. Yahoo
Oracle Shuts Down Ad Business
Privacy Sandbox Buyer Report: The Who’s Who of DSP Spending in the Post-Cookie Era
Image sourced from Raptive
Paul Bannister dropped some serious knowledge bombs on LinkedIn and Twitter, giving us the lowdown on how different DSPs spend with Google's Protected Audience API (PAAPI). It's clear from the data that everyone's scrambling to figure out their game plan for a post-third-party cookie world. Most DSPs are playing it safe, dabbling with around 1% of their ad spend to test the waters. Amazon, the notorious latecomer, only started spending in March, but even their minimal spend might be enough to pivot swiftly when the cookies finally crumble.

The real stars of this report are the "paradigm shifters" like AdRoll and Audigent. These guys are not just tiptoeing around; they're embracing PAAPI like it's their golden ticket to innovation. Audigent, for instance, has built Component Buyer technology without even running a DSP. This leapfrog move could position them as major players in the new ad tech landscape. And let's not forget the complexity of getting large advertisers on board. Google's DV360, for example, is lagging behind Google AdWords in terms of PAAPI spend, highlighting the intricate dance required to shift big advertisers to new tech.

Now, let's zoom out and put this into perspective. PAAPI, as one of Google's answers to the impending cookie apocalypse, stores user interest groups locally and runs on-device auctions, aiming to maintain the delicate balance of targeted advertising while beefing up privacy. For publishers, this means navigating a whole new ecosystem where they swap the usual third-party cookies for a more privacy-centric approach. However, the journey is not without its bumps. Publishers need to keep their Prebid.js updated and brace themselves for a workflow still in its infancy, missing some familiar components like comprehensive revenue reporting in Google Ad Manager (GAM) — at least, that was the case at the time we initially took a deep dive into PAAPI's technical aspects.

But remember that the Privacy Sandbox is under intense scrutiny by the UK's CMA. James Rosewell from Movement for an Open Web highlighted significant compliance and technical challenges with Google's Privacy Sandbox during a recent LinkedIn Live with AdMonsters. The CMA's oversight underscores the delicate balance between competition, privacy, and innovation. There's also the critical need for robust governance and fair digital practices to avoid sidelining smaller players and pushing the industry toward greater consolidation. As we await more detailed guidelines and industry feedback, the dialogue around Privacy Sandbox continues to be pivotal for shaping the future of digital advertising. — LdJ
Pinterest Joins the AI Ad Performance Trend with Performance+

The AI train is full speed ahead and there’s no hint in sight that publishers are moving off tracks or taking any detours. Pinterest has launched Performance+, an AI-powered media buying tool that aims to enhance ad performance with minimal effort.

Projected to boost ad revenue by 17.2% to $2.66 billion this year, Performance+ has shown promising early results: over 10% improvement in cost per acquisition for conversion and catalog sales and more than 10% improvement in cost per click for consideration campaigns. Advertisers can set parameters like budget, country, age, or product groups, and Performance+ handles the rest, reducing campaign creation time by 50%.

Ad buyers monitor performance via Pinterest's ads manager. This move aligns with trends from Meta, TikTok, Google, and Yahoo, which use AI to enhance ad placement amid signal loss. However, some marketers remain skeptical of these tools due to a lack of transparency.

Additionally, Pinterest is testing a collage ad format to make content more shoppable. Wayfair has seen a 28% improvement in cost per click and 5.4 times higher engagement with this format, though they did not disclose specific details.

Of course, AI benefits are endless — customer targeting, personalization, and testing to name a few — but robust legislation is still a bit scarce. Companies are increasingly using AI in their businesses and workplaces, but we have to wait and see where all the chips fall. – AB
Ad Tech Showdown: The Trade Desk Flexes Muscles, Yahoo Fights Back
The Trade Desk is flexing its muscles, and Yahoo’s feeling the burn. TTD’s threat to demonetize Yahoo’s video inventory over alleged misdeclarations is a major shake-up, especially when Yahoo has been on a hot streak lately with its innovative ad products. Just last month, Yahoo rolled out new CTV solutions and dynamic identity tools that had the industry buzzing. But now, TTD is putting its foot down, and the timing — right before Cannes — is no coincidence. It’s a strategic power move that props up TTD’s new role as the gatekeeper of premium ad inventory.

Yahoo’s VP of Corporate Comms, Erin Miller, insists they’re aligning with TTD’s standards, but the back-and-forth highlights a larger narrative: transparency and trust in ad tech are more critical than ever. This isn’t just about Yahoo; it echoes the recent Colossus SSP controversy, where accusations of fraud over cookie mismatches stirred the industry up. Dr. Augustine Fou’s defense of Colossus pointed out that such mismatches are common across all SSPs, suggesting the issue might be more about technical hiccups than intentional deception. In this light, TTD’s move against Yahoo seems part of a broader crackdown on perceived inventory misrepresentation.

In the grander scheme, TTD’s hardline stance signals a shift towards more rigorous policing of inventory standards, likely prompting other DSPs and publishers to tighten their operations. For Yahoo, which has been making waves with its DSP-focused strategy and cutting-edge tools, this confrontation with TTD could either be a stumbling block or a catalyst for even greater innovation. One thing’s for sure: as the ad tech giants battle it out, the industry will be watching closely to see who comes out on top. — LdJ
Oracle Shuts Down Advertising Business Amid Revenue Decline
Oracle announced during its latest earnings call that it is closing its advertising business due to declining revenue, which fell to $300 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024. CEO Safra Catz confirmed the decision, noting the sharp decline from August 2022, when Oracle Advertising generated $2 billion in revenue.

Oracle had invested heavily in the advertising sector, acquiring several ad tech firms, including DataLogix for $1.2 billion in 2014 and Moat for $850 million in 2017. However, the business faced significant challenges when Meta ceased third-party data sharing in 2018 after the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the implementation of GDPR in Europe.

Leighton Welch, CTO and co-founder of data intelligence platform Tracer, agreed, stating, "The impact of data privacy and the depreciation of cookies played a role in Oracle's decision, further highlighting the importance of owning proprietary data."

These events led to Oracle discontinuing third-party data services in Europe and shutting down the AddThis tool. The company is also dealing with class action lawsuits related to user privacy.

Yet, this is not a bad omen for the state of ad tech. Weighton argues that Marketers now have unprecedented access to data, and the demand for actionable data tools is growing as they strive to maximize their ROI.

"CMOs are increasingly thinking about their marketing analytics within the broader context of business analytics," says Welch. "This signals the increased importance of measuring data with context. There has been a shift from an audience-focused approach to a business context-focused perspective. Simple measurement is no longer as valuable; marketers seek contextualized insights that integrate multiple data sources within the organization." – AB
One X Post
What the Official Ad Industry Bus to Cannes?
Is the flight with @mrdcohen the official ad industry bus to Cannes? There’s also good AWS ad tech representation.

My last flight from France was 80% + Eras attendees. This flight to France is 80% + Cannes Lions.
Worth a Listen
Redefining Consumer Privacy and Premium Content
In the latest episode of Pub Way, Tina Iannacchino and Mike Villalobos engage in an insightful discussion with Albert Thompson, Managing Director of Digital Innovation at Walton Isaacson, boasting over 25 years of experience in the digital arena. Albert's expertise centers on simplifying digital marketing and technology for enhanced comprehension, a theme that resonates throughout the episode.

The conversation explores a multitude of pivotal topics, ranging from the evolving landscape of consumer understanding to the ethical dimensions of data usage. Albert passionately emphasizes the need for publishers to transcend mere impressions and deeply comprehend the consumers they target, advocating for a shift towards precise, smaller audience data over vast scale for profound consumer insights. Furthermore, discussions touch upon the burgeoning role of AI in deciphering consumer behavior and the premium value of first-party data in monetization strategies.
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