Adblock Plus For iOS Finds Its Way Onto Browsers

The maker of the ad-blocking software Adblock Plus released a version Tuesday for mobile iOS browsers, one day prior to similar news expected from Apple.

Apple’s forthcoming technology in iOS 9 expected Wednesday will provide ad-blocking capabilities on iPhones and iPads.

Aside from blocking advertisements from serving up, Adblock’s iOS free browser extension, released Tuesday, touts ways to protect users from malware and malvertising, protects mobile data, disables ad tracking, increases privacy, and extends battery life on the phone.

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Report: Calls Have 30 To 50 Percent Conversion Rates, Most Come From Mobile

A call is, generally speaking, a better lead than a click. But how much better is striking: calls have 30 to 50 percent conversion rates while clicks top out at 1 to 2 percent. That’s according to a new Call Intelligence Index report from Invoca.

The data in the report represent “more than 32 million phone calls placed to businesses across 40 industries in 2014.” The analysis determined that mobile marketing (search, display, etc.) was responsible roughly 54 percent of all calls to businesses. And 45 percent of calls to businesses came as a result of a mobile search.

Beyond this the overwhelming majority of business calls (75 percent) come from mobile phones.

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Booby-trapped Hugo Boss Advert Spreads Cryptowall Ransomware

Malicious advertising attacks (malvertising) have been plaguing mainstream sites and their visitors a lot these past few years.

While some are easy to spot and get rid of, others tend to be much more sophisticated and hard to shine light on.

On Saturday 11th, we discovered a malicious advert that was displayed on huffingtonpost.com as well as other popular sites, such a Zillow.com. This advert was used to deliver the Cryptowall ransomware via a Flash exploit.

The ad was loaded by a third-party advertiser (servedbyadbutler.com) initially called by delivery.first-impression, where it won the real-time bidding auction for $2.31 CPM (cost per thousand impressions).

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Private Exchanges And ‘Velvet Rope’ Access To Inventory

An audience member at Tuesday’s Programmatic Insider Summit in Scottsdale, AZ, told the private exchange panel that he has been told from some “open market exchange people” to look into private marketplaces because his company isn’t winning enough bids on the open exchanges.

How common is this, the ad buyer wondered, and is it a legitimate suggestion?

Brian Brownie, director of advertising operations at eBay, noted that a common misconception is that supply is limited in private marketplaces; that if an ad-buyer is worried about entering a private marketplace because it will limit their scope, that isn’t necessarily true. (Obviously, it depends on which private marketplaces are joined.)

“The supply is not necessarily limited by the fact that the priority has now changed,” said Brownie. “[On the open exchange], there are 10,000 buyers, and everybody is level,” he exclaimed. “Then you step into the private world, and you have 100 buyers. The inventory is the same — it just means they get to go in through the velvet rope.”

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What You Should Know about Programmatic Advertising

Advertising isn’t what it used to be. It’s more precise than at any other point in history. According to LinkedIn Influencer Tim Cadogan, “programmatic advertising” is expected to “grow tens of billions of dollars” by 2020, but what is it?

First there was “paid search” which peaked at the turn of the century and finally became a $58 billion industry–and paid search is still going strong. However, the growth of programmatic is outpacing even that of paid search. Is programmatic advertising set to leave paid search in the dust?

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Advertisers’ Viewability Demands Frustrating Publishers

“Advertisers’ demand for viewability is frustrating for publishers, who must contend with new contracts, new billing structures and new ways to value inventory, all while ensuring meeting viewability standards doesn’t erode ad revenue,” writes AdExchanger.

At the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in Phoenix, AdExchanger notes that about half of the publishers said they have sold campaigns based on viewability.

But what “viewability” means is still up for debate, even after the Media Rating Council (MRC) spelled out its standard (50% of the pixels being in-view for at least one second).

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AOL’s Ad Tech Unit Accounts For Nearly Half Of Q4 Revenue

AOL reported its fourth quarter 2014 earnings this morning, and noted that its programmatic revenue grew 250% on the year as a whole, accounting for 39% of the company’s non-search and other revenue during the quarter.

AOL reported total revenue of $710.3 on the quarter, missing estimates by just over $11 million. It’s stock price has taken a sharp decline as a result — shares of AOL were down over 11% on the day at press time.

The company’s Platforms unit — which houses a growing ad tech stack — became profitable in 2014 after pulling in over $1 billion in revenue, AOL reported.

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Digital To Surpass Print At YP

The company formerly known as Yellow Pages has worked hard in recent years to transfer its historical strength – helping consumers find local businesses via large printed books – into a business that’s now booking more than $1 billion in digital revenue.

YP acquired mobile ad firm Sense Networks one year ago and continues to refine and experiment with geotargeting. In January, it announced a partnership with Tapad to enable cross-device retargeting based on a user’s search queries on YP.

“Five years ago, 18% of our revenue was digital, and in 2014 it [was] 44%. Next year it will be over half,” YP Chief Revenue Officer David Lebow said.

As with other print-digital media companies, revenue from YP’s historical business is important, but waning.

“Print is very much in a managed decline,” Lebow said. “Fewer people use the print book, and revenue follows audience. When you have 80 million users a month, ad dollars are going to follow.”

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Xaxis Focused On ‘Programmatic Direct’ After ‘Nearly’ Abandoning Open RTB

WPP’s programmatic media-buying unit, Xaxis, plans to focus on “programmatic direct” ad buying in 2015, according to Brian Gleason, newly appointed CEO of Americas at Xaxis, a new position at the company.

This echoed what David Moore, president of WPP Digital and chairman of Xaxis, told Beet.TV earlier this year: That Xaxis would focus on private marketplaces in 2015, noting that the company would be moving away from RTB (real-time bidding).

However, the company nearly steered clear of open exchanges and RTB altogether.

Gleason, who was promoted from his position of managing director of North America at the beginning of the year, told Real-Time Daily that Xaxis won’t abandon the ad exchanges and RTB. However, he acknowledged that up until a few months ago, Xaxis was “almost led down that path.”

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