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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