Snapchat’s Ad API Open For Programmatic Ads

What Happened
Snapchat has officially opened its advertising API to third-party partners for programmatic ad sales. Brands including McDonald’s, Unilever, Nissan, and Gatorade are among the first to try out programmatic buying on Snapchat. Its API also includes targeting via email matching, performance visualization tools for real-time tracking, and the ability to do A/B testing for in-app campaigns.

What Brands Need To Do
According to eMarketer, Snapchat is expected to expand its user base by 27.2% this year, surpassing its rivals such as Twitter and Pinterest. Now with the added support for programmatic buying, Snapchat took another big step in improving its ad products to match its rapid growth. Brands need to consider getting on Snapchat to reach its young-skewing users via not only standard video ads, but also more unconventional ad units such as custom Geofilters and branded selfie lenses.


Source: AdAge

Spotify Goes Programmatic, Allows Playlist-Based, Real-Time Targeting

What Happened
Spotify is stepping up its ad game as it announced the launch of programmatic audio ads earlier today. The popular streaming service is partnering with three programmatic platforms – AppNexus, Rubicon Project, and The Trade Desk – to give brands access to over 70 million global users on its ad-supported free tier via real-time bidding. Along with that launch, Spotify is also offering ad buyers access to its demographic data and playlist data, allowing for real-time targeting based on age, gender, location, and even the playlists people are listening to.

What Brands Need To Do
With the programmatic ad platform, Spotify rounds out its programmatic ad offerings across audio, video, display ads. Allowing brands to target based on demographics and listening habits also opens up new opportunities for tailoring ads that match the audience behaviors and interests their playlists suggest. For example, a fitness brand can surface ads for listeners who played “workout” playlists, whereas a mattress company may choose to target users who listened to “insomnia” playlists.


Source: AdWeek

Major Publishers Join Blis’ New Location-Based Programmatic Platform

What Happened
London-based location data company Blis unveiled its private programmatic marketplace Blis Prime on Tuesday at the Cannes Lions Festival. Designed to help brand advertisers ensure their ads are geographically relevant to their audience, the new product will supply advertisers with performance data, measured by analytics firm Moat, to determine whether their ads are being served in the right places, at the right times, and viewed by real humans. Condé Nast, The Times, and Forbes are among launch partners for this programmatic platform.

What Brands Need To Do
Location-based ads are very useful for businesses to target local consumers with relevant messages and drive store visits. With more and more people consuming digital content on mobile devices, it is imperative that brands advertising on mobile take context into consideration as well. In that regard, brands may find it beneficial to explore this new platform and see how it can help boost ad effectiveness.

Location-based mobile advertising was also a hot topic we encountered at the Mobile World Congress earlier this year, which you can read more about here.


Source: AdWeek


iHeartRadio Dives Into Programmatic Ads

What Happened
More programmatic ads are coming to radio as iHeartRadio, one of the largest radio networks in the U.S., is making its entire ad inventory available for programmatic buying. This change is made possible by iHeartRadio’s new partnership with Jelli, which recently launched a programmatic platform for radio ads. Besides typical demographic segments, brands using Jelli’s platform will be able to target audience segments based on political affiliation, mobile device types, and even what kind of car the listener drives.

What Brands Need To Do
According to IDC, programmatic radio advertising is growing rapidly, from $7.5 million in 2014 to $37.5 million in 2015. For brands seeking to reach consumers on the road, radio ads offer a well-tested way to do so. Now with iHeartRadio diving into programmatic ads, brand advertisers will be able to enjoy some of the advanced targeting capabilities of other programmatic ad formats.


Source: AdWeek

A+E Networks Embraces Programmatic With AOL Deal

What Happened
A+E Networks has struck a deal with AOL that will allow the Disney and Hearst-co-owned networks to use AOL’s programmatic ad platform and other digital publisher solutions. A+E will use AOL’s programmatic platform, ONE by AOL, for display and video ads on its digital properties. They will also use Gravity, AOL’s content recommendation engine for personalized content and ads, on The deal, however, does not include a TV component at the moment. A+E Networks has agreed to an upfront ad commitment across AOL’s properties including Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Moviefone, and Microsoft’s Xbox.

What Brands Need To Do
This wide-ranging deal includes video, display and personalization elements, and A+E is expected to leverage AOL’s great host content outlets to push for awareness and use their first-party data for improved targeting. Digital advertising continues to move towards programmatic as the platforms and ad tech mature, and this deal shows that the media owners are also fully embracing programmatic ads. Therefore, brands would be wise to consider trying new programmatic solutions to keep up with the industry and achieve improved ad effectiveness through automation.

Source: AdWeek

Why Big Publishers Are Saying No To Automated Ad Sales

What Happened
A host of big-name publishers are going against the trend and resisting automated buying enabled by programmatic ad platforms. Lifestyle site Refinery29, along with some popular young-skewing sites such as Vice Media, Vox Media, BuzzFeed, and Mic, points to automated ad platforms as the culprit for overwhelming readers with too many ads and slowing down page loading with tracking codes. They are therefore reportedly opting to build their own ad tech platform to sell ads directly rather than employing third-party ones.

What Brands Need To Do
While obviously not applicable for every publisher or brand website, this new trend does signal a path for digital publishers to combat the rise of ad-blockers. While the ad networks and exchanges are still needed as the middlemen in the $60 billion digital advertising marketplace, media owners should consider selling ads with their own sales team, if they have a homogenous or broad enough audience that advertisers seek.


Source: The Wall Street Journal

Hulu Opens Up To Programmatic Ads With Help From Facebook And Oracle

What Happened
On Tuesday, Hulu announced it will begin selling ads programmatically across its platforms on desktop, mobile and connected TVs with the help of Facebook’s ad exchange system LiveRail and the Oracle Data Management Platform (DMP). This marks the first time Hulu’s inventory will be available for programmatic buying.

What Brands Should Do
As Hulu goes programmatic, it should become much easier for brands to reach the right audience segments with the vast user data that Facebook holds. Moreover, with access to Oracle DMP, advertisers will be able to combine their first-party data with third-party data for ad targeting to offer granular personalization.


Source: MediaPost

Why Verizon Acquired AOL For $4.4 Billion

Read original story on: Re/code

Verizon, the second biggest telecom company in the States, has acquired mass media conglomerate AOL for a whopping $4.4 billon. Verizon is expecting the deal to be close by the end of summer, which will hopefully help with its “video and OTT strategy”.

AOL currently consists of two main business operations: the digital media properties that includes sites like Huffington Post and TechCrunch, and the ad tech platform that it has been rapidly developing in recent years. Given that AOL is already in talks with German media company Axel Springer to spin off its Huffington Post content unit, it is safe to conclude that AOL’s ad tech platform, especially video ad units, are what Verizon is really after.

With this acquisition, Verizon officially enters the media and ad tech sectors, which would give it a triple-screen opportunity to reach consumers across desktop, mobile, and television, helping the mobile network operator to tap into bountiful potential as the media market shifts towards digital content and targeted advertising.



Pinterest To Become More Brand Friendly With New Ads API

Read original story on: Ad Week

Pinterest has been readying its ad sales programs since a year ago, consciously making its platform more brand-friendly. And earlier today, the company unveiled its first ads API for tech partners to help make posting more efficient and provide better measurement.

Moreover, the social scrapbook site is also launching a marketing program to help brands increase the amount of unpaid posts. Paid advertisers will be able to automate the buying of Promoted Pins in a new programmatic system, whose automation and sophistication will undoubtedly help Pinterest to woo brands and advertisers.

Why Twitter Is Looking Into Beacons

Read original story on: Business Insider

Twitter is investing in Swirl, a Boston-based startup specializing in beacon marketing, according to CEO Hilmi Ozguc. Swirl’s technology is intended to surface relevant ads to smartphone-wielding shoppers in stores. Although Twitter has yet to incorporate Swirl’s technology into its ad offerings, it will probably happen soon.

Twitter’s own ad platform could greatly benefit from Swirl’s beacon technology, as it would contextually trigger notifications of targeted ads or value offers and boost relevancy of its real-time ad bidding.