Results tagged “Advertising” from IABlog

3 Reasons Advertisers Need Advanced Television Now

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Advanced Television truly has… advanced. An estimated 75-100MM Americans watch TV content over IP across a host of devices. TV Everywhere video starts grew by over 100% last year. Addressable TV already reaches tens of millions of households across DISH, DIRECTV, Cablevision and Comcast, and soon could jump by about another 50% with the addition of multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD’s)/multi-system operators (MSOs) such as Charter, Cox, and Verizon. 

With staggering numbers like these, what we’ve been calling “Advanced TV” rightfully should be called, simply: “TV.”

The underlying technologies of Advanced TV have enabled innovation in content delivery and interaction, which has led to radical consumer behavior shifts. The way people watch TV—how, where, and on what devices—has changed. And in this shift, the IAB sees tremendous opportunity for advertisers’ strategies around media, creative, and measurement to evolve as well, generating greater value for advertisers, for publishers and distributors, and yes, for viewers.

To step back and define Advanced TV: it is the evolution of television, far beyond the linear television viewing experience and :30 commercials of the past 50 years. Non-traditional television consumption methods - such as time-shifting on DVRs, VOD and interactive television (iTV) — and enhanced cross-device viewing experiences — such as TV everywhere and Over-the-Top (OTT) viewing — have enabled unprecedented consumer control and choice. New content delivery platforms and functionality enable marketing nirvana: better targeting and addressability, more efficient and automated buying and selling methodologies, more holistic measurement and robust insights, and all of this enabling more impactful and influential campaigns. Advanced TV brings the best capabilities of digital advertising to TV advertising. 

To help accelerate innovation and adoption in this space, the Advanced TV Advisory Board of the IAB has begun work on an industry primer, to be published in Q2 2015. The primer will serve as a resource and buyers’ guide, pointing the way to help brands and agencies access the 3 core advantages of Advanced TV advertising:

First, the highly effective targeting technologies available through Advanced TV platforms help advertisers find their audiences — and re-aggregate them at scale — cross-device and at any time and place. And the addressable technology of Advanced TV makes that reach and scale more relevant to that audience when and where they are found.

Second, the richly interactive technology of Advanced TV enables greater engagement. Audience choice — viewers choosing their content and influencing or potentially even choosing which ads they see — ensures deeper engagement with that content and the advertising that goes with it. Richer data return on what audiences are choosing helps further refine the addressability of the platform, since based on the viewers’ choices of both content and advertising, the ads being served can be optimized.

And third, that same data return offers advertisers more effective and meaningful measurement of campaigns. Brands can be more certain that they actually reached their audience effectively, and gain insight into viewers’ usage and engagement. These insights feed back into the top of the cycle, helping advertisers target, reach, and engage their audience more and more effectively.

In short, with Advanced TV, advertisers have the opportunity to deliver more targeted messages and interactive content, with accountability far beyond simple media exposure. Stay tuned (so to speak) for the publication of this industry resource to help smart advertisers achieve exactly that. Until then, here are two more ways to derive more value from this space:
If you are an advertiser interested in exploring Advanced TV advertising, be sure to bring it up with your agency and ask for recommendations. 




About the Authors

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Elaine Boxer

Elaine Boxer is the Director of Industry Initiatives at IAB.



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Chris Falkner

Chris Falkner is the Senior Vice President of Advanced TV, NBC Broadcasting at NBCUniversal.



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Adam Lowy

Adam Lowy is the General Manager of Interactive & Advanced TV at DISH



The Power of Open Source Collaboration: We Need You

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Overview
There is a major demand in our industry today when it comes to providing tools and code needed to implement technical specifications. In order to help fill that gap, as well as provide transparency, certification and validation in the marketplace, IAB created structures such as its newly formed Tech Lab to augment the written specifications it currently produces. The IAB Tech Lab is tasked with researching and defining the necessary Open Source tools and code needed to quickly and easily put such specifications into practice. The lab is built around three core pillars: specifications, protocols, certification and tools. The “Tools” pillar, the focus of this post, is comprised of three different elements:

  1. Tools.jpgThe IAB CodeBank: The advertising industry’s repository of Open Source code, tools and implementation solutions;
  2. An Open Source network of developers which collaborates with the Tech Lab, donating their time, development cycles and resources to issues of interest to the IAB community; and
  3. A platform of utilities and testing tools that allow members to work with the specifications the IAB produces in order to help solve their real-world implementation needs.
One of the tools in this newly formed toolbox is the IAB’s SafeFrame technology, a managed API-enabled iframe-like vehicle that opens a line of communication between the publisher’s page and externally framed content such as ads. The bad news is that since its inception, the support materials surrounding SafeFrame has been limited to human-readable documentation, code excerpts and loosely coupled specifications. The good news is that is about to change. Since June of this past year, IAB members, Open Source developers, and technology enthusiasts have all banded together to jump start this important technology; and the results have been substantial. In six months, testing tools have been created. Roadmaps, both product technology as well as adoption, have been defined. Use cases are being created. Documentation updated.  In short, what had been an idle idea has now gotten an infusion of life thanks to the power of Open Source collaboration.

Contributions from IAB Members
In order for the industry to succeed as a whole, the IAB must be responsible for producing and promoting code that supports its standards, and do so with the help of the community in order to gain traction, as well as adoption. But, just supplying them with code is not enough. Ancillary products such as testing tools and other supporting materials must be part of the mix. In other words, what good is a piece of code if you have no way of ensuring that it will hold up to its intended purpose? This was one of the major roadblocks that prevented SafeFrame from moving ahead.

This is not to imply that the SafeFrame technology has been laying dormant for the last year. On the contrary, IAB members have been actively working with it, but in their own proprietary way. Microsoft and Yahoo have both integrated the SafeFrame technology in one form or another in several of their products. The problem though is that these integrations leverage each company’s own in-house technology and does not lend itself to a robust, general purpose solution that others can easily implement on their own. With that said, we know that without proprietary innovation, general standards lay dormant. The first step in any evolution is the need to fill a void. For Microsoft and Yahoo, their needs focused around “providing a solution to enable 3rd party ads while preserving user privacy and security, and doing so with least amount of work for their publishers and properties” and leveraging a technology that offered the end user with a platform that could ensure accountability, respectively.

Prabahakar Goyal, Chief Architect of Display Advertising at Microsoft, and one of the original authors of the SafeFrame utilizes this technology from a practical standpoint:

Safeframe is a standard which enables publishers to include 3rd party advertisements, including advanced ad formats such as richmedia, while mitigating the risk of data leakage or broken page because of the ad and page content interferences. It also provides a standard way to measure viewability across cross-domain iFRAME. Most recently we have deployed SafeFrame on one of our largest properties - Outlook. This is laying the foundation for serving 3rd party ads while making sure that our user’s data is protected and privacy is maintained.

Sean Snider, Senior Web Software Engineer at Yahoo and the original SafeFrame co-author currently leverages SafeFrame at Yahoo by integrating it into their core mindset:

“One of the largest benefits of digital advertising is how dynamic it is. The entire industry works toward delivering the most relevant and captivating advertisements to individual users. But being that dynamic comes with huge tradeoffs in terms of level off effort, safety, privacy, and consistent metrics. The whole idea with SafeFrame, is to have a foundation on the web for such advertising to reside, so that we can mitigate those tradeoffs, as well as move towards the future. Rolling out and developing SafeFrame and other standardizing technologies like it, is in of itself a large challenge. And that’s why it’s a very big win, for the IAB to take a leadership role creating and managing the technology required. Standards and specifications are the first step, but it’s critical to have open technology platforms that enforce and deliver on those standards.”

Without the proprietary work that is going on at companies like Microsoft and Yahoo, the community doesn’t move forward, and no one benefits. Luckily for IAB members, the creators of these types of solutions also happen to be the co-authors of the Open Source version of SafeFrame as well.

Contributions from Non-IAB Members
Because of the historical scarceness around support for SafeFrame in the past, Open Source developers began experimenting on their own, and needless to say, out of necessity came innovation. One company in particular, Streamwize spent so much time creating one-off solutions they took it upon themselves to write their own SafeFrame testing tool:

“The ‘Patcher’ is the first in a series of tools and services being offered by Streamwize to help accelerate and simplify SafeFrame adoption by both advertisers and publishers and raise the floor of ad capabilities for the industry. It is an enhanced, open source web-based tool that advertisers can use to inject, test and view their creatives on nearly any web site with both SafeFrame and Friendly iFrame simultaneous format support. Within the tool, you simply put your own creative code snippet or ad tag, the web site you wish to target for testing and either auto select or enter the CSS expression of where the creative will be rendered on the targeted web site page. The tool supports all IAB layout designs including floating lightboxes and expanded ads as well as the ability to define height and width. It then works by proxying any selected URL, injecting the SafeFrame publisher-side framework into the web site, and then loading the selected creative into the specified location. You also get a unique URL you can share with others so they can also see how your creative would look and operate, in context on the targeted website before certification or client review. 

Streamwize is further developing tools for publishers to ease the transition to SafeFrame by allowing them to simultaneously support SafeFrame with older standards until they are ready to make a full switch over to SafeFrame. Building tools for both publishers and advertisers on top of SafeFrame allows publisher and advertisers to leverage some of its advantageous features, including support for measurement and contextual advertising. 

Such is the critical importance of SafeFrame adoption across the industry in dealing with thorny issues such as mitigating publisher risk, consumer protection and viewability, that Streamwize will offer the “Patcher” tool free and will shortly be launching a dedicated web site to showcase why it is committed to the SafeFrame cause and it’s growing capabilities and benefits for advertisers and publishers.”

Another company, SquareOffs, interested in implementing SafeFrame but didn’t know where to look for help, reached out to the IAB and donated their developers’ time to work with us in order to implement SafeFrame directly into their product. What may have taken them weeks to do with little success was overcome in a matter of days working directly with Chris Cole, SafeFrame’s chief developer. According to SquareOffs CEO Jeff Rohr:

“The way that the IAB has been willing to work with real world companies on the ground is remarkable. SquareOffs is extremely grateful to be one of the first participants in the IAB Tech Lab and we are delighted that they see the huge win-win scenario going on here. It’s so valuable for an organization, such as the IAB, to experience the gaps and pitfalls present with any specification (or product) in it’s infancy that would never come up on a whiteboard. Getting out of the building and obtaining a big enough sample size of feedback is crucial to defining whether the needs are truly being met. We are glad that the IAB is taking this head on, while being wise enough to realize that a collective group approaching a problem from many different angles will reach the goals of the project and produce thorough documentation at a much faster pace.

SquareOffs has reached two product initiatives in our embedded debate technology at warp speed thanks to the IAB and Chris Cole: the ability for our embed to expand onto the page and the ability to dynamically match the content of the page where the embed is placed. Both of these enhancements directly impact our customer base and will be showing up much earlier than expected on sites near you. Our iframe solution would not allow for these capabilities and building a javascript solution to accomplish them would have come with much more overhead. The implementation of this new technology was a smooth process and we look forward to giving back to the community by documenting our use cases and those that come in the future.”

It is the collaborative efforts of companies like Streamwize and SquareOffs, in addition to their drive, passion and innovation that make the difference in whether a piece of technology ever sees the light of day, and really ever truly succeeds.

We Need You
Microsoft, Yahoo, Streamwize, and SquareOffs are only the beginning of the story. Much more work is needed in order to ensure technology such as SafeFrame makes it to the marketplace. The power of Open Source collaboration is unquestionable, but the realization of it takes time, effort and commitment. The IAB, with the creation of the Tech Lab, understands this, but it only works if our companies and individuals alike step up and push the boundaries of what is possible, so together we can collectively “raise the floor” on what can be done.

In closing, it should go without saying that the IAB can no longer simply sit back and rest on the laurels that it has produced best-of-breed standards. It must take a much more active approach and involvement in order to support the industry it serves. This means it must also execute on the specifications it delivers. Must roll up its sleeves and place “hands on keyboard” if ever it is to help its members succeed. The main impetus for the creation of the IAB Tech Lab was to provide an open environment where members could contribute, learn and grow in a collaborative manner. The only piece that is still missing… is you.


About the Author

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Alan Turransky

Alan Turransky is the Senior Director of Technology and Ad Operations at IAB.



Top 5 Trends in Digital Out of Home

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We tend to spend a lot of time outside and on-the-go, getting from one place to the next. It’s no surprise, then, that the average global consumer is exposed to various Digital Out of Home Media for 14 minutes per week, and investments in the space are expected to grow 14.2% year-over-year between 2011 - 2017. New York City’s Fulton Center in Lower Manhattan has recently reopened, accommodating up to 300,000 daily riders and boasting more than 50 digital screens available for marketers. The largest and most expensive digital billboard debuted in Times Square this past November, with just as many pedestrians expected to pass though the area daily. The overlapping powers of digital, mobile, outdoor, and Out of Home content seem to be stepping up.

Digital Out of Home (or “DOOH” as the channel is commonly referred) encompasses a variety of screen shapes, sizes, and levels of interactivity. From digital billboards and signs on taxis, to digital signage at airport gates and gyms and waiting rooms, these varieties underline a necessary bridge between context and location in relevance and favorable recall - vital components of any media campaign. The IAB sees norms and expectations from the online advertising world informing and expediting the growth of DOOH, and the IAB’s Digital Out of Home Taskforce launched this past fall with aims to define the DOOH channel while positioning its place within the larger interactive advertising industry.

As we collectively say “hello” to 2015, the Taskforce shares its thoughts on the Top 5 Trends in DOOH.
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photo courtesy of Luke Luckett, IAB Consultant

“Top 5 Trends in Digital Out of Home”

1. Cross-platform targeting opportunities are on the rise. As mobile devices become more advanced and ubiquitous, the proliferation of captive digital screens in home and out of home has been growing. Interactions with consumers have become more prominent via new mobile technologies like NFC, beacons and more accurate geofencing capabilities. Such technologies may allow a marketer to personalize the consumer’s experience and even allow for immediate interaction.

2. DOOH will provide increasingly relevant messages in locations that matter. The amount of time spent outside and in transit is increasing in many regions.  New forms of targeting and subsets have made the art of reaching specific audience segments in ideal locations easier - and in our highly distracted modern experience, a consumer’s receptivity to new concepts outside the home can be highly impactful. In fact, a recent study by YuMe and IPG Media Lab found that consumers are 41% more receptive to advertising in public places than at home, and 16% more receptive at school/work than at home. As a consumer, the device you carry with you creates a natural tie-in to your visual experience outdoors, and relevant DOOH messages enhance the value via existing screens throughout popular locations.

3. Data is (literally) where it’s at, locally and programmatically. According to BIA/Kelsey, marketers spent $1.4 billion on location-targeted mobile campaigns in 2012. By 2017, spending on location-targeted mobile advertising will reach $10.8 billion, representing a 52% share of all mobile ad dollars. (In fact, next month the IAB’s Location Data Working Group will release a primer on using location data for attribution and ad effectiveness.) DOOH is benefiting from this rapidly growing segment, using big data to reach the same mobile consumer on larger, higher impact screens and enabling marketers to craft cross-screen, location-based strategies to maximize the impact of advertising to consumers outside the home.       

At the same time, finding scale and ease of buying in DOOH is being made easier through programmatic conversations and data-driven media buying. Programmatic solutions are developing in DOOH, and are leading to a deeper connection with the mobile and interactive marketplaces. Programmatic DOOH has the potential to drive standardization and reduce overall fragmentation in the marketplace. The 1st and 3rd party data sets that allow buyers and sellers to better define audiences exposed to DOOH media is also rapidly evolving. Programmatic bidding enables buyers to more accurately target the most appropriate audience, while sellers benefit from yield optimization of their media assets.

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photo courtesy of Outfront Media

4. Out of Home creates a unique canvas for top-notch creativity. From street furniture and cinema ads to augmented reality and live experiences on outdoor screens and vehicles - the ability to build awareness and drive impressive results is getting easier in DOOH. Whether it’s part of a larger cross-media effort or a locally focused campaign, DOOH offers opportunities to reach a unique audience, creating unexpected parallels between location (as content and backdrop) and messaging. DOOH has huge potential to drive immediate impact and scale close to point of purchase; it also can garner award-winning praise and even the Direct Grand Prix at Cannes

5. There is a rise of new measurement and addressability opportunities in DOOH. New location and mobile data sets are leading to new ways of measuring attribution in experiential and out of home media. Location, as an audience definer, is just as important to DOOH as it is to mobile advertisers. Retargeting in the real world is more than just copying the online model; the best context is location - where we are and who we are. It is about delivering real-world context and campaign messages that are close to point of purchase. A consumer’s exposure to these mediums can now be verified beyond the self-reported opportunity to see, improving marketers’ confidence in their ability to isolate the impact of DOOH from other mediums in the cross-channel mix

Looking forward, the space is heating up. The number of digitally connected screens is growing, and all signals indicate that inventory and creative options in digital out of home media will continue to grow. Watch this space as the IAB and its DOOH Taskforce combine the talents of key players with out-of-home, mobile, local, and video expertise to build and expand upon this growth.
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photo courtesy of Titan
We start the New Year by addressing a question that’s on many people’s minds in the digital industry… 

Will the FTC provide guidance on native advertising in 2015
and, if so, what might we expect?

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At December’s IAB Native Advertising Disclosure Workshop, which was attended by Laura Sullivan, Senior Staff Attorney, Division of Advertising Practices at the Federal Trade Commission, along with nearly 200 IAB event registrants, there was some speculation that the FTC had plans to provide guidance for native advertising. 

I sat down with Mike Zaneis, Executive Vice President, Public Policy & General Counsel from the IAB’s Washington, DC, office to get some perspective on what FTC guidance for native advertising might entail. 




When the FTC provides “guidance” on a specific advertising topic, what does that mean? Why do they do this?
Companies may be familiar with legal regulations that have been promulgated by the FTC, such as those issued last year under the COPPA statute. These regulations have the force of law and must be followed by companies. The FTC also brings enforcement cases against “unfair or deceptive” business practices.  Because this authority is extremely broad, the FTC sometimes helps companies understand what may be expected of them by issuing formal guidance. These documents provide examples of good or bad business practices and may provide direction in new or emerging marketplaces. 

Although it is speculative at this point in time, what might we expect from guidance on native advertising disclosure?
In the past, the FTC has issued broad-based guidance as well as guidance for specific business models. In the native advertising space they have only delved into the search advertising space, issuing guidance in 2002 and then providing an update in June of 2014. It is hard to predict what type of guidance they may issue in the future, but the focus on multiple business models during their 2013 native advertising townhall is a clear indication of the scope of their interest.  

The IAB, via its Native Advertising Task Force, issued the Recommended Native Advertising Disclosure Principles below as part of its Native Advertising Playbook (published 12/13). How similar or different might the FTC’s guidance look?

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The IAB disclosure principles are a good example of the broad-based guidance that I described above. At their core they simply attempt to apply the existing law around advertising disclosures to the emerging field of native advertising.  In this case we might expect similarly broad language from the FTC, accompanied by specific examples in several native advertising categories such as In-Feed and Recommendation Widgets as outlined in the IAB Native Advertising Playbook. This was how they developed their “.com Disclosures” guidelines in the past.

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FTC.com Disclosure document. Source: FTC

Do you have any suggestions on what, if anything, publishers/marketers/agencies could or should do in anticipation of potential guidance being issued for native advertising?
As an industry we should strive to be proactive versus reactive in this area. At the IAB’s recent native advertising townhall event we heard from more than a dozen companies about how they are evolving their disclosure practices. These developments ensure that consumers understand where the content on the page ends and the advertisement begins. Many of us long assumed that disclosure and consumer engagement were countervailing forces, but we are discovering that, to the contrary, an informed consumer is a happy, engaged consumer.

How does the FTC announce that they are providing formal guidance?
There is no set process for issuing guides. In the ideal scenario they will publish a draft and solicit public comment before finalizing the document. However, they have sometimes simply issued new guides without a comment period or, in the case of search advertising, just sent letters to a number of companies to provide details on the updated guide.

If guidance is issued, how should publishers/marketers/agencies respond?
While they do not carry the same legal weight as a regulation, guides provide insight into the types of areas where the FTC may bring future enforcement actions. Therefore, companies should pay close attention to the “advice” provided in these documents and double check their current business practices against them. Guidelines are usually just that, guidelines, and they should provide room for variation, responsible experimentation, and future innovation.
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For those who had questions about potential FTC Native Advertising Disclosure Guidance, we hope these answers were helpful. The IAB will continue to advocate that disclosure is of paramount importance for this growing source of digital advertising revenue. We will continue to provide updates on potential FTC guidance as/if available.

About the Author

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Susan Borst

Susan Borst is the Director, Industry Initiatives and IAB liaison for the Content Marketing and Native Advertising Task Force groups, along with the Social Media, B2B and Game Advertising Committees at the IAB. She can be reached on Twitter @susanborst 


About the Author

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Susan Borst

Susan Borst is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the IAB focusing on Social Media, B2B, Games, Content Marketing and Native Advertising. 
She can be reached on Twitter @susanborst

- See more at: http://www.iab.net/iablog/2014/04/GIF.html#sthash.jts7rfyl.dpuf
Tsusanblogpic.jpghe year 2014 marked an important turning point for game advertising … for all the right reasons. Driven by new technology and social and mobile adoption, the gamer landscape has rapidly evolved. The evidence is clear that the demographics for games are more inclusive than ever with time spent playing growing at an unprecedented rate. And now more than ever, savvy marketers are viewing games as valuable and highly engaging content that fits in both content marketing and paid advertising strategies. 

The IAB’s new “Games Advertising Ecosystem Guide” was developed to help marketers and agencies understand today’s game play, the core game types and advertising categories to reach consumers. The guide provides an overview of today’s game play and a summary of the game advertising system outlining:

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  • The evolving and dynamic gamer landscape and trends 
  • The two main categories of games that can be played across multiple devices
  • The three main types of advertising formats available to marketers and agencies with examples
  • The most common performance models
  • The most common revenue models
  • The future evolution of game advertising

On the importance of this guide, Sandro Camarao of MediaBrix, who led the Game Advertising Ecosystem Guide working group said: It is important for buyers to understand how to leverage gaming content for maximum brand impact. Gaming has grown exponentially, and with its growth, new opportunities for brands to forge emotional connections with key audiences. The IAB Games Ecosystem Guide comes at a critical time for buyers who are determining how best to integrate gaming into their media plan.  

IAB Game Committee co-chairs added:
quotesnew.PNGIn looking forward to 2015, the IAB Games Committee will take deeper dives into each of the three main types of advertising formats to provide more guidance for marketers and agencies who seek to deploy game advertising in their content marketing strategy and media mix.

On a related note:  Be sure to check out the IAB’s recent (11/14) research study “Mobile Gamers:  Who They Are, How They Shop, and How to Reach Them.” This report examines the behaviors and economic outlook of mobile phone owners who use their smartphone for all of its functions as compared to the general US Adult 18 and over population.

About the Author

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Susan Borst

Susan Borst is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the IAB focusing on Social Media, B2B, Games, Content Marketing and Native Advertising. 
She can be reached on Twitter @susanborst

- See more at: http://www.iab.net/iablog/2014/04/GIF.html#sthash.jts7rfyl.dpuf

About the Author

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Susan Borst

Susan Borst is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the IAB focusing on Social Media, B2B, Games, Content Marketing and Native Advertising. 
She can be reached on Twitter @susanborst

- See more at: http://www.iab.net/iablog/2014/04/GIF.html#sthash.jts7rfyl.dpuf
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About the Author

headshotCalvin.JPG

Susan Borst

Susan Borst is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the IAB focusing on Social Media, B2B, Games, Content Marketing and Native Advertising. 
She can be reached on Twitter @susanborst

- See more at: http://www.iab.net/iablog/2014/04/GIF.html#sthash.jts7rfyl.dpuf

About the Author

headshotCalvin.JPG

Susan Borst

Susan Borst is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the IAB focusing on Social Media, B2B, Games, Content Marketing and Native Advertising. 
She can be reached on Twitter @susanborst

- See more at: http://www.iab.net/iablog/2014/04/GIF.html#sthash.jts7rfyl.dpuf




Forging the path to Data Demystification

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Data had a landmark year in 2014. This year we saw everyone get interested in data. Brands, agencies, publishers, automakers, consumers, legislators and even the Supreme Court was fixated on issues surrounding digital data. Most of these issues centered on the data captured, stored and shared by our mobile phones. 

As the device that goes everywhere with us throughout the day, the industry is now just starting to realize the immense data opportunities created by Mobile. On the revenue side, Mobile continued its unhindered ascension to digital dominance. The IAB half-year ad revenue numbers showed Mobile revenues increased 71% in 1H14 capturing 24% of total internet revenues or a total of $2.8B in ad spend.  

With this continued monumental shift to Mobile comes an ever-growing list of terms, acronyms and the confusion that accompanies any nascent industry. We at the IAB are no strangers to helping supply the tools to enable nascent markets to grow. Our Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence was started four years ago with the sole purpose of growing Mobile budgets and today we have taken another leap towards facilitating that goal. 

I’m excited to announce the release of the IAB’s Mobile Data Primer - a companion document to our updated Data Primer released in 2013. This Mobile Data Primer marks an important step in helping us coalesce, as an industry, around the data opportunities, classifications and use cases available in the Mobile Advertising Market. It also provides important Mobile data best practices and an updated code of conduct. 

Beyond providing clarity and transparency, our aim is for this primer to be used as a foundation that will enable deeper conversations around the Mobile data opportunity in the coming year. Now that we have a common knowledge base, we can explore more sophisticated use cases and can leverage Mobile data as part of an overall marketing automation strategy to inform better messaging and creative, and foster deeper consumer relationships. 

I would like to thank the IAB’s Data Council for their continued work to help truly demystify data for the digital industry, and also for their leadership in the creation of this primer. We are excited to continue these conversations as data maintains center stage in the coming years. 


About the Author

headshot.jpgBelinda J. Smith

Belinda J. Smith is Senior Manager of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the Interactive Advertising Bureau



Who are Mobile Gamers and Why Do They Matter?

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Mobile Gaming apps are the most popularly used mobile app type, according to the recently released IAB study “Mobile Gamers: Who They Are, How They Shop, and How to Reach Them” which is based on an IAB analysis of Prosper Insights data and represents the self-reported media behaviors of about 15,000 US adults 18 and older (A18+). Not only is Mobile Gaming the number one app type, but Mobile Gamers represent a substantial 37% of the US adult population. 
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Who are Mobile Gamers and why should marketers and digital publishers care? Mobile gamers are likely to be women (56% vs. 51%A18+), professionals (35% vs. 28%), higher earners ($68k vs. $62k) and purchase influencers (40% vs. 32%). They earn more, they spend more and they’re more likely than the general population to be planning both major and minor purchases. A full 16% are planning to buy an auto (vs. 12% A18+). Female mobile gamers are more likely to be planning a vacation (25% vs. 18%A18+) while male mobile gamers are more likely to be shopping for a new mobile device (17% vs. 10% A18+). This is a desirable audience.

But perhaps most important to digital publishers, Mobile Gamers are heavy mobile media users who can also be reached on digital media via their mobile devices. While male Mobile Gamers tend to be heavy gamers (74% play videogames during the week), female Mobile Gamers’ video gaming habits are more reflective of the general population (49% game during the week vs. 44% of A18+). Female Mobile Gamers are casual gamers and they spend their time online, taking in all forms of media on their computers and smartphones.

As heavy digital and mobile users, Mobile Gamers’ purchases are much more influenced by various forms of digital and mobile media than the general adult population, providing ample opportunities to reach them using these ad formats. Not only is this desirable audience more likely to watch online video (73% vs. 56% A18+) and mobile video (65% vs 41%A18+) but they’re also more likely to watch the video ads (62% vs 34%A18+) and even say that their Electronics (18% vs. 13%A18+) and Clothing (12% vs. 8%A18+) purchases are influenced by mobile video.  

Being digitally savvy and mobile focused, 94% of Mobile Gamers regularly research products online (vs. 89% A18+) and on their mobile devices before buying. Interestingly, the products they’re most likely to research (Electronics and Clothing) are also the ones that digital advertising is most likely to persuade them in, presenting an ideal environment to serve such ads. Internet ads and Email ads have more influence on them than Cable TV and nearly as much influence as Broadcast TV. One in three Mobile Gamers say their Electronics purchases are influenced by Internet Ads (vs. 24% A18+) or Email Ads (vs. 25% A18+). Female Mobile Gamers are heavier Social Media users and 23% admit that their clothing purchases are influenced by Social Media (vs. 13% A18+). Thus, ads served to them while researching products, whether online or in the store on their phones, will likely be rewarded.  

Mobile Gamers are more likely to own a smartphone (52%) than a desktop computer (45%) and they regularly showroom. They’re also much more likely than the general US adult population to make purchases using their mobile devices. While Mobile Gamers ‘showroom’ regularly, consisting mostly of reading product reviews and price checking, they most often end up buying the product in person at the store or at a competitor’s store. Interestingly, Mobile Gamers are more likely to both check email on their smartphones (90% vs 62%A18+) and to be influenced by email ads, providing another opportunity to reach them in store. Since they’re reachable on the go via mobile while in the stores, targeted ads, offers or email coupons during their shopping experience would likely sway their purchases. After they’ve left the store, many Mobile Gamers will buy the product online, offering a second chance for advertisers to reach them through digital media.

In summary, Mobile Gamers are a desirable audience that is planning to spend and they shop armed with a smartphone. As heavy mobile users, they are reachable online and are always connected. Their overall media consumption profile implies that a sequenced media mix to these Mobile Gamers could be effective. An ad on a mobile video game, followed by a targeted ad online while they’re researching the product, then followed up with an email offer or targeted in-store offer (for those who are reached by beacons) to catch them while they’re showrooming could win Mobile Gamers’ dollars. Digital and mobile ads are likely to influence Mobile Gamers’ purchases so intercepting their online activities with ads and offers is likely to pay off. A savvy marketing mix that makes good use of the variety of digital formats and mobile technologies could transform Angry Birds into Happy Marketers and Words With Friends to Advertisers With ROI.


About the Author

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Kristina Sruoginis

Kristina Sruoginis is the Research Director at IAB.


On October 23rd, thinkLA and IAB were thrilled to host a Programmatic Summit in Los Angeles, in association with eMarketer. Our first ever collaboration focused on the rising tide of programmatic within digital media. Over 500 brand marketers, media buyers, online publishers, ad networks, ad exchanges, and other solution providers came together to discuss and debate the next evolution of programmatic. 
 
Here are the top 10 takeaways from the event about programmatic:
  1. Programmatic is more than RTB. There is a lot of confusion over the term programmatic, which many people mistakenly believe is only real-time bidding (RTB) or used only for remnant inventory. Ultimately programmatic is the process of buying and selling media in an automated fashion. This includes four main types of transactions - open auctions, invitation-only/private auctions, unreserved fixed rate/preferred deals, and automated guaranteed/programmatic guaranteed deals. Every time someone says the word “programmatic” make sure you ask what exactly they mean. Watch this Digital Simplified video that explains how one part of programmatic, RTB, works step by step.
  2. Lots of challenges still exist to enable programmatic to work. Concerns that were addressed throughout the event included transparency, fraud, and trust; limited understanding and knowledge; confusion over terminology; moving from direct response to branding dollars, moving from mostly standard banners to native, video, rising stars, and audio ad formats; internal organizational challenges for brands and publishers; and delivering different creative through programmatic.
  3. Programmatic is big and getting bigger. The programmatic market (including auction, and direct deals) is expected to top $10B in 2014 and grow to $20B by 2016. For now, RTB remains the dominant part of programmatic spending (92% in 2014), but is expected to fall to under 60% of total programmatic spend by 2016 as programmatic direct increases. Within RTB, open auctions account for 88% of total RTB spend, though this is changing with private marketplaces growing significantly faster. While display is still dominant for now, mobile and video programmatic are growing fast.
  4. Fraud and trust are big issues, but are being tackled by the industry. Bots and fraud have become a big issue mainly due to the large sums of money involved. The IAB and the industry are building a trust stack to tackle fraud, malware, piracy, and transparency and include these in a joint cross-industry accountability program) building on the existing Quality Assurance Guidelines. Advertisers and buyers should make sure they know their supply sources, choose their vendors carefully, and always remember “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is!” Publishers need to ensure they are coordinating between sales, marketing, operations, and analytics to identify any strange traffic patterns and remember if they are doing audience extension they need to apply the same controls as buyers should.
  5. Publishers can hit a home run with programmatic video. The concern that programmatic has been perceived as a “race to the bottom” for rates and yield has not been the case in video due to restricted supply. Publishers can use programmatic to fund the creation of quality video content particularly by helping to monetize traffic spikes. Ultimately efficiency doesn’t have to mean lower CPMs; it can also mean more effective engagement.  
  6. Measurement matters even more in a programmatic world. Brand marketers are looking for transparency, inventory quality, and technology simplicity. Buyers should ensure they are reaching the right audience, use a consistent, comparable metric to plan, buy, and sell audiences, use brand data to ensure advertising resonates, and ultimately ensure that the campaign drives the desired action.
  7. Attribution is essential to effective programmatic spend. Last touch attribution is outdated and is like giving all the credit in a relay race to the last runner. Attribution models should incorporate the “first site visit” separating the funnel into prospecting and retargeting, and set the right incentives to each part.
  8. Brands in automotive are leveraging programmatic. Leading brands are looking beyond the simple retargeting of ads and embracing programmatic across the consumer path to purchase from unaware to loyal purchasers. The agency automation “stack” includes four layers - unified data platform, open access to media inventory, single metrics regime, and dynamic ad creation/production/serving platform. Brands are finally learning from programmatic media to employ new tactics in automated creative—not creating by machines, but optimizing ad variables based on real-time, impression level data.
  9. Publishers need to re-org to capture the value of programmatic. Publishers are adopting programmatic as a core part of their monetization strategy. However, this can pose internal challenges. The top five ways to build a successful programmatic publisher organization were the following: align incentives and compensation; educate direct sellers and have them attend Programmatic 101 training; programmatic team to focus on supporting direct sales (agencies) and covering programmatic buying entities (DSPs, trading desks, retargeters); establish a programmatic rate card; and have internal and external quarterly budget reviews.
  10. Creativity and programmatic are not enemies. Every ad should be dynamic and leverage the same audience signals used in programmatic media buying to make the creative relevant. This can be done by infusing first or third-party data on demographics, location, and previous website behavior to alter the headline call to action, image, or assets of the ad unit to ensure the message resonates with the user. Doing this can double yield on interaction rates and increase engagement by 50%. 


I’ve been thinking a lot about the global impact of the mobile media revolution lately. Advertising Week brings with it IAB’s annual Global Summit, a gathering of representatives from IAB branches worldwide. In conjunction with that event we have published our third annual anthology of IAB mobile perspectives, The State of the Mobile World.

For 2013, IABs in 30 countries participated—more than double our previous editions, providing a truly global view.  Where our Global Mobile Ad Revenue study provides the cold-hard-cash point of view on the mobile regionally and globally, State of the Mobile World offers a more nuanced, qualitative picture.

And what is the state of the mobile world? Well, growing—the participation of more and more IAB’s in our anthology project underscores how important mobile is becoming across national and regional divides. But beyond overall growth, mobile is very diverse from country to country, and depends on whether the dominant mobile technologies are feature phones or smartphones, and slower data speeds or mobile broadband. Below are a few common themes that I discern.

  • Marketers are playing catch-up. Whatever the state of mobile itself in a given country, in every market it feels like consumers lead the way, media companies are doing their best to follow, and agencies and brands, on average, tend to lag a bit, puzzled by mobile or unsure how to respond to the shift of the digital audience to phones and tablets.
  • Location gets people excited. Regardless of the phase or state of mobile adoption, location is the universal unique selling point of mobile. It’s the thing that piques marketers’ interest, and first sparks creative thinking about mobile’s possibilities as a distinct medium.
  • Video is coming up fast. Many participating IABs also cited video as a major mobile opportunity. This makes perfect sense, since video content is abundant and, assuming networks can handle it, an attractive content type for mobile consumers.
  • Improving creative is our common task. In terms of industry challenges, better ad formats was very common, and clearly a place where the global network of IABs needs to focus our efforts over the next 12 months. Building future-proof mobile creative is a huge challenge, but collaboratively the IABs are poised to meet this challenge in the coming year.

We hope the IAB State of the Mobile World provides a useful reference for anyone looking to learn more about mobile’s evolution across countries and continents.


About the Author

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Joe Laszlo

Joe Laszlo is Senior Director, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, at the IAB.

 

TV in the Digital Age

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Perhaps the thing I love most about the digital advertising industry is the continuous evolution and emergence of new trends and sectors to develop and discover. The latest area to pique the interest of IAB members, and also top agencies like Zenith and Maxus, is Connected Device Advertising. We’ve all cast our bet on this being one of the next needle movers and many are heavily investing. From an IAB perspective, we know what it takes to create an efficient, smooth value chain - and that’s a sound set of standards, forums for innovation, and industry-wide education. With our soon-to-be rolled out Advanced TV initiatives, covering the spectrum of digital TV platforms ranging from Connected TVs and game consoles to capable set-top-boxes, we’ll be starting work groups to create cross-screen video ad delivery standards iterated from IAB Digital Video-Suite, address the convergence of measurement and metrics for TV and Digital Video, discuss standards for OEMs, the role of data and targeting in AdvancedTV, and much, much more.

As a kickoff to greater focus in this arena, IAB held a Town Hall in May, sponsored by member, Delivery Agent, titled “TV in the Digital Age: How Big Brands are Harnessing the Power of Connected Devices.” The program was packed with stellar contributors to the evolution of the TV space, ranging from buy side to sell side to the tech sector. We brought in one of the few analysts who covers and knows this space inside and out, Heather Way of Parks Associates. Heather grounded us on what is included in the the Connected Device footprint and gave insights on projected marketplace distribution growth.

A panel of buying and technology experts gave us perspective on the unique value of the products residing on connected device platforms that play well together like targeting capabilities and on-screen conversion features. A case study was covered which used first screen embedded ACR technology in Samsung Smart TVs to deliver a T-commerce experience during the Super Bowl. How long have we been talking about buying Jennifer Aniston’s sweater from TV? The item for purchase in this campaign was not her sweater, rather, it was David Beckham’s underwear, sold by H&M. This campaign is proof that if we dream it we can achieve it. It’s those notions and thoughts, like Jennifer’s sweater, that give the industry an idea to rally around and in-part fuel the innovation of companies like Delivery Agent and Samsung to innovate.

I’d like to extend an invitation to you and your company to get involved in IAB’s Advanced TV efforts as they begin to emerge. It’s in the Digital Video Committee and AdvancedTV Work Groups that we will conceive the notions that lead to the next best thing in TV. If you are interested in participating, please email [email protected] for more info. 

As I close, I’d like to leave you with a highlight reel and full coverage of Delivery Agent’s TV in the Digital Age Town Hall. As you review, buyers, think of ways you can include functionality like this in campaign proposals and technologists, think of ways you can build off of the IP feature set to build new experiences for the viewer and client. Let’s all bring our ideas to the table and make some serious strides toward addressable, cross-screen video experiences. 



About the Author

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Julie Van Ullen

Julie Van Ullen is the Vice President of Member Services at the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Julie oversees a number of IAB’s elite Committees and Councils, charged with putting industry best practices and thought leadership into the marketplace. Those focal areas include Native, Programmatic, Digital Video, Advanced TV, Digital Audio, Social Media, Games and more.

 

From the Winter Olympics to a fantastic World Cup, it’s already been a great year for sports around the world. And as the summer baseball season unfolds in the US, the IAB Mobile Center and InMobi have collaborated to publish a look at how US consumers use their smartphones to plan and purchase tickets to sporting events.

This report completes a trilogy of studies examining mobile and ticketing. Previously we looked at mobile and movies and mobile and live theater and music performances. Like those event categories, sports benefits greatly from the ease and convenience of the mobile internet.

Among the key findings from the sports research:

  • 85% of mobile sports fans turn to mobile after seeing ads for entertainment events on other channels. 
  • 49% of mobile sports fans say they find information about entertainment activities via mobile, making that channel more important than PC and print for entertainment information.
  • 78% of mobile sports fans use their mobiles to help plan trips to watch live sporting events.
  • Sports fans use their devices during games to record videos and watch replays.
  • 1 out of 3 mobile sports fans purchases game tickets directly through their phones or tablets. Box office, online and mobile are now all major sources of ticket sales. 

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Like mobile consumers generally, mobile sports fans gravitate toward ads that combine fun and relevance. Sports marketers seeking to make mobile an MVP on their media team should remember that 36% of this group prefer ads that showcase video, sound, and photos; 33% like deals or other promotions; 28% like pre-sale ticket opportunities; and 27% like ads that feature their favorite sports team.

It’s hard to imagine a category of marketer that’s a more natural fit for mobile than entertainment ticketing. Whether it’s a spontaneous movie night, the game of the year, or the concert of a lifetime, mobile has the immediacy and relevance to help a fan learn what’s going on, act on that, and share the experience with friends and the world. We hope these three studies help open marketers’ eyes to the value that mobile brings to the world of event ticketing, and look forward to seeing even tighter and better integration of mobile into sports, music, theater, event, and movie marketing.


About the Author

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Joe Laszlo

Joe Laszlo is Senior Director, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, at the IAB.

 



I have been in multiple conversations recently with clients about video fraud, safety and content verification and how those impact video advertising today. I was asked questions such as “How concerned should I be? What’s the best way to prevent issues? What are my options? It became clear to me that while there’s overall concern about the topic of video verification, there’s also a knowledge gap that needs to be addressed. 

So here is a cheat sheet of the things you may want to consider in your solution. All the items below are critical to ensuring maximum protection for your brand. 

1) Media Neutrality
The single most important thing is to ensure that you are not using a solution that is provided by a company that also sells you the media. There are several verification solutions on the market, but many of them are homegrown solutions offered by media sellers that aim to offer insight into the quality, or lack thereof, of their competitors’ inventory. In other words, if Company A sells you media and also tells you, here’s a solution that will verify our media - can you believe that this is a viable solution? To avoid this conflict of interest and ensure that you’re getting accurate information, you should prioritize solutions that are media neutral.

2) Methodology and Technology
It is also crucial that you are confident in and comfortable with the technologies and the methodologies used by your solution of choice. Here are 3 questions you want to ask:
  • What’s your measurable Rate? - This KPI measures the percent of impressions verified out of the total impressions delivered in the campaign. Your goal should be to get as close as possible to a measurable rate of 100%.
  • Are you MRC accredited? - A solution that carries the MRC seal means it is a trusted solution that has gone through a rigorous set of tests and has been validated to meet a certain set of guidelines and industry standards. 
  • What’s your level of publisher transparency and cooperation? - Keeping your media partners in the dark is counterproductive and ensures the negative outcomes you are trying to avoid. Make sure the relevant data is available to your media partners in real time and that you frequently communicate with them to address any issues that may come up. 
3) Fraud Detection and Brand Safety
No verification solution can be considered viable without addressing these two topics. 

Fraud detection identifies whether an impression was generated by a human (i.e. real or not). Fraud has been an ongoing issue since the early days of online advertising with click fraud in search marketing and other CPC driven marketing. Since then, the problem evolved and started affecting CPM based advertising such as display and video. There is already a great deal of industry buzz, so let it suffice to say that there are many forms and tactics of impression fraud as the fraud committers become increasingly sophisticated. That said, there are several companies dedicated to solving the problem with robust solutions to address different methods of fraud. 

Brand safety focuses on identifying areas which are not suitable for brand advertising. An impression may be real and viewable but if the ad ends up appearing next to inappropriate content such as adult material, hate speech, violence, etc. - it can lead to a disaster for a brand which invested years in building its public image.

4) Full Campaign Visibility
You should make sure that you get granular data and reporting that gives you full visibility into what affected the performance of your campaign: How many issues were detected? How were they distributed across your media partners? How many impressions were affected? How did it affect your overall campaign performance? Etc. 

It is also important to combine your display verification and video verification reporting. There are solutions on the market that offer one or the other, and solutions that do both. The advantage in combining both is streamlined operations and the benefit of utilizing display verification data in video verification and vice versa. The more historical data you use, the more accurate your detectionand thus protection, will be.

That said, reporting is only good at detecting the issues and giving you a backward look at things. This is good for understanding what happened and suggesting measures for future campaigns. 

5) Impression Blocking 
The best measure to ensure that issues will actually be prevented is to deny the delivery of the impression. Several techniques exist to do this:
  • Blacklists - A list of domains is created where your ads must not run.  Ads can run on any site that isn’t on the blacklist.
  • Whitelists - A list of domains is created where your ads may run.  Ads must not run on any site that isn’t on the whitelist.
  • Impression-level analysis - Inspecting each impression and determining whether it meets the advertiser’s specific criteria, including brand or message conflict, along with fraud, brand safety, and other requirements, and denying ad delivery when these criteria aren’t met for the specific impression.  
Many advertisers today use black and white lists. However, this is like throwing out an entire container of eggs because one is broken. Making a decision per impression is preferred to making a collective assumption that a domain is always safe or never safe as it ensures fewer bad ad impressions where something went wrong on a trusted site, and more good ad impressions on sites that otherwise might have been totally excluded with a less granular solution. 

6) Page Verification & Video Player Content Verification
It’s important to understand that online video appears on pages composed of two separate pieces - one being the video player where the video content and your video ad appear, and the second being the actual page that hosts the video player. Verification issues can happen both on the page and inside the video player, but most solutions on the market focus on detecting issues within the page only. Often times, the page content may be safe while the video content inside the video player is inappropriate for your brand. You must be able to detect BOTH issues related to the page and issues related to the video content itself. 

6 Steps to Video Campaign Recovery
Once you are over the hump of admitting that fraud and a general lack of visibility represent a threat to your digital campaigns, use this list of six key considerations as your guide to recovery. When the curtain is pulled aside to reveal an industry problem, many technology providers will race to offer proprietary solutions. Not all solutions are created equal, so find a solution that deals with each of these verification considerations for you so that you have the most complete capabilities possible.

About the Author

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Ronnie Lavi

Ronnie Lavi is vice president, product, at Innovid, a technology platform for delivering immersive video advertising anywhere. Ronnie is a digital advertising technology veteran with nearly a decade of product development and product marketing experience.



Media Multitaskers and Purchase Influence

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Consumers are increasingly pressed for time and, due to the multitude of readily available media sources, undivided attention.  Thus, it should come as no surprise that consumers are frequently multitasking, particularly with other media.  82% of American adults (over 18) go online while watching TV and 43% of them make this a regular habit.  So, as sellers of media, the question arises:  Are these Media Multitaskers even noticing the advertising?  And where does digital fall in this picture?  New research from the IAB shows that they are indeed noticing the ads on both media and they’re even being influenced by them, especially digital.  

As media multitasking grows, it becomes increasingly important for media buyers and sellers to understand the place of media in this new environment and how to best reach consumers.  The IAB analyzed Prosper Insights data to examine the media behaviors and influence of habitual Media Multitaskers and the results are impressive

Media Multitaskers are more likely than the general population to notice TV commercials and digital ads and are more likely to have their purchases influenced by the media and ads that they’re taking in on either screen.  They’re 6 percentage points (ppt) more likely than the general public to report regularly watching TV commercials.  Media Multitaskers are 5 percentage points more likely to report that both Broadcast TV and Internet Advertising influence their Electronics purchases.  Fascinatingly, Internet Advertising and Email Advertising have a higher purchase influence on Media Multitaskers than Cable TV does.  For instance, 29% of Media Multitaskers state that Internet Ads and Email Ads influence their Electronics purchases while only 23% report that Cable TV influences those purchases.  Similar differences in ad influence are seen across product verticals.   

Who are these Media Multitaskers?  Media Multitaskers are more likely to be young, single, females of average income who are heavy media users, especially of digital media.  Within digital, they’re also heavier Video Streamers and users of Mobile and Social Media—all of which are more likely to influence their purchases.  In an average week (M-SU), they’re 10 percentage points more likely than the general population to surf the internet, where they are 14 ppt more likely to use social media and 8 ppt more likely to stream online radio.  Media Multitaskers are also 9 ppt more likely to regularly watch digital video either online or on a mobile device.  They’re more likely to own and use any mobile device.  Media Multitaskers are most active online during primetime TV viewing hours (8-11pm).  

Evidence points to Media Multitaskers integrating media together across screens.  For example, Media Multitaskers are more inclined to do an online search related to something they’ve seen on TV or in a digital ad.  About one-quarter to one-third report searching online as a result of what they’ve seen in an internet or email ad or on TV.  While searching, they’re more prone to be influenced by a sponsored search result - nearly half report doing so.  

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Compounding the impact of search, Media Multitaskers are more likely to regularly do online product research before buying and their #1 online activity for fun is shopping. Additionally, Media Multitaskers happen to be planning major purchases within the next 6 months, more so than the general population.  These major purchases include vacation travel, computers, furniture and autos.

But it’s not just about search.  Media Multitaskers integrate various media types and are influenced by all digital media ad formats.  29% of Media Multitaskers report that their Electronics purchases are influenced by Internet Advertising and Email Advertising (5 ppt and ppt more than the general population).  Media Multitaskers are much more likely to use any social media service and 21% are influenced by social media in their Electronics purchases.  65% stream video online and 59% report watching the video ads (5 ppt more than the general population).  20% report that their mobile device influences their Electronics purchases (+4 ppt). Digital media ad influence extends beyond Electronics purchases, as detailed in the report.

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All of this points to digital advertising as the place to reach the time-constrained, multitasking consumer.  Digital should be part of any integrated TV campaign, since digital is increasingly where TV viewers are taking action.  Those who are simultaneously surfing and watching are in fact reacting to what they’re seeing on each screen and the computer seems to be the screen in which they take their actions further.  They’re most likely to be simultaneously watching TV and online during primetime TV hours, so this is the place to hit them with an integrated campaign, which they can search about online, where they should encounter a related digital ad. 

Retailers too should consider digital as a component to their TV buys since Media Multitaskers are more likely to research online before buying and more likely to do their shopping online.  Media Multitaskers’ major purchase plans combined with the purchase influence of digital advertising formats create ideal conditions for digital advertising to them. 

Perhaps the most important reason to target this group is that since multitasking behavior is growing at a fast pace, today’s Media Multitaskers will soon become tomorrow’s typical consumers.  By embracing the new way consumers watch TV - which includes an online accompaniment - advertisers can meet consumers on their terms by offering an integrated brand experience across screens, thereby deepening their relationship with the consumer.


About the Author

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Kristina Sruoginis

Kristina Sruoginis is the Research Director at IAB.


Although Integral has been on the forefront of the fight against impression fraud in the digital advertising industry, I have been largely silent on the topic.  Despite that I’m a battle-scarred ad tech vet with strong opinions, I have been quiet because I know that many will perceive my words as biased due to Integral’s role in fraud prevention.  Two recent incidents, however, prompted me to end my silence.  Some will be surprised by my conclusions.

For the record, my definition of impression fraud - as recognized by the IAB - is a situation where an advertiser buys a digital ad that has zero chance of being seen by a human.  Fraud comes in many flavors, including ad stacking, whole websites stuffed into non-viewable i-frames, and botnets of infected consumers’ computers, which surreptitiously mimic humans’ surfing behavior.  Although all cause harm to the advertising ecosystem, I will be referring mainly to bot traffic here as we believe it’s the most common form of fraud and probably the hardest to detect.

The first aforementioned incident that caused me to speak out was a call I received from an old colleague who runs a media company that produces valuable fitness-related content.  He called me in panic because he was told by one of his big clients that they were discontinuing advertising with his company.  Their reason was that a technology vendor had found that 100 percent of his site’s impressions were fraudulent.  Given what I knew of the site, 100 percent fraudulent traffic sounded improbable.  I quickly offered to help by running a test on his site.  The results showed that my former colleague’s site did have some fraud, but the levels were closer to 20 percent.  It became quite clear that the technology vendor measuring fraud was labeling a lot of legitimate inventory (in this case 80 percent) as bad inventory.  I thought that this may have been an isolated case, but with further investigation, I found that this was happening to a lot of other publishers as well.  Sites that had even a modicum of fraud were being labeled as fraudulent by this well-known vendor.  

This issue seemed like a micro-level problem to me.  Human traffic was being incorrectly categorized as bot traffic on domains with any level of fraud, and while unfortunate, only impacted those sites affected.  The second incident, a call from an investment bank research analyst, made me realize that there is a macro-issue at play as well.  This bank was putting the final touches on its special report on the state of digital media and wanted me to verify that the annual loss from impression fraud in the online display ad industry was over $20 billion.  Say what?  I have read some pretty aggressive predictions around the dollars lost to fraud, but $20 billion?  That estimate is way too high. 

So, I feel I need to come forward and take a stand.  Fraud is a problem in the online advertising industry, but NOT a problem of this magnitude.  Whether on purpose or not, the fraud problem is being exaggerated.  We have a problem, but it’s been blown out of proportion and it’s not as big as what we read.  There, I said it.  A year ago, I was concerned because I felt that the industry was not talking enough about the fraud problem, and now, I am worried about the opposite.  If we’re not careful, we are going to get carried away and cause irreparable harm to the future of digital advertising.

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So how did we get here exactly?  I put the blame into a couple of categories.  The first category has to do with limitations in technology.  The unnamed vendor labeling my former colleague’s website as having 100 percent fraudulent traffic is a good example of technological limitations.  In this case, the vendor correctly detected some fraudulent activity, but extrapolated this information to the domain or site level.  In other words, bot-related fraud happens at a user level (an infected computer), but due to technical restrictions, it is often tied to a domain level (e.g., fitness-related-site.com).  To make matters worse, many solutions only have two classifications of the entire site: fraudulent or clean.  Thus, if the solution sees any reasonable fraction of fraudulent impressions on a website, it has to make a decision to label the site as fraudulent or clean.  The threshold for fraud is typically set quite low in order to eliminate as much bot traffic as possible.  The end result is that a relatively few fraudulent visitors can cause a vendor to mislabel a large percentage of normal impressions fraudulent.  And as most fraud appears on legitimate sites that are buying traffic (a portion of which turns out to be non-human), as opposed to whole fake sites with 100% fraudulent traffic, this mis-labeling is very common.  When you start to aggregate these mis-labeled statistics and extrapolate on what it means industry-wide on a percentage of total impressions, the amount of fraud present looks downright scary.  Then, if you apply industry average CPMs to these extrapolated estimates (despite the fact that fraudulent inventory is usually cheaper than average), suddenly $20 billion appears plausible. 

So, what’s the alternative to rolling up fraud statistics and detecting at the domain level?  The better option is to intercept the ad call as soon as you detect a fraudulent user and thus only block the one ad from serving to this specific bot.  However, you need to do this detection at the ad impression level.  It’s the equivalent of using a laser to perform surgery rather than a butcher knife.   Here are a couple of things to look out for:  If more than 15 percent of your campaign impressions overall are identified as fraudulent and blocked, there is a good chance fraud detection is at the domain level.  This means you are using a butcher knife, and this will likely cause friction with partners and needlessly hurt your scale.

Additionally, if you ever hear that blocking is not possible or bad because it tips off the fraudsters, you should know that you have been given false information.  If done correctly, there is absolutely NO truth to this claim.  It’s an urban myth - similar to one that claims freezing water in plastic bottles release dangerous dioxins - so don’t fall for it!  Even if fraudsters were able to somehow detect that a specific bot did not receive the originally intended ad each time (not likely), there is no data that would give them the ability to reverse engineer the reasons why.  People claiming that blocking is bad because it helps the bad guys are either naïve, rely on only one method for detecting fraud (like side channel analysis) or are purposely deceitful.  In any case, it means that they’re suggesting a solution that does not have the technological sophistication to block at the impression level, and thus not as effective in preventing fraud and saving money for advertisers.

The second category of blame for exaggerating the fraud problem is related more to commercial reasons.  The fraud problem has created lots of opportunity and companies have popped up almost overnight to capitalize on it.  Many of the companies are made up of people who have never bought or sold an ad and have no appreciation for the media or the technology behind it.  They see dollar signs and exaggerate the problem to give their company attention and help them create more demand for their product and services.  Furthermore, most of these companies see only a small percentage of the online population - typically the worst stuff.  They make the assumption that their tiny sample of media is representative of the entire industry’s media and use these biased samples to wildly extrapolate.  Needless to say, the industry’s long-term health is not their top concern.  

So, where do we go from here?  Well, first it starts with a little perspective.  We have a fraud problem.  It has been exaggerated, however, and it’s not as big as many of the pundits say.  It definitely won’t ruin the industry - we won’t allow it to — and it’s not out of control.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is fraud is still a problem nonetheless.  It’s not only a sell side problem nor is it only a buy side problem.  It’s an industry problem.  And this problem will not go away anytime soon and may never completely vanish.  The bad guys are made up of amateurs and very sophisticated professionals.  We can eliminate the amateurs, but the pros are making a lot of money in fraud and they will continue to invest heavily in building better deceptions.  Our goal has to be to work together as an industry to shut down all amateur activity and get the professional levels to a very small, manageable amount.  The good news is that we are making progress.  Despite what you may hear, fraud levels have dropped over the past year.  We are at the beginning of the battle, but we’ve got the bad guys on the run. 


About the Author


Scott_headshot_hi-res.jpgScott Knoll

Scott Knoll is the CEO of Integral Ad Science



The IAB’s standardized interfaces for rich ads—Video Suite (VAST, VPAID and VMAP), MRAID, and SafeFrame—are among our most important contributions to enabling engaging, dynamic advertising to scale.  In three different ad environments, these technical specifications standardize communication between the ad creative and the systems that host the content. In a video player, the player must be able to understand and process the ad’s requests to operate smoothly (VPAID). For mobile in-app ads, the mobile app must be programmed to recognize the ad’s requests (MRAID). In a webpage where the ad runs in an iframe, a line of communication is needed between the page and the iframe (SafeFrame).

The three specifications IAB and our members have developed to standardize these communications have significantly reduced the friction associated with buying and selling advertising in web, mobile, and video environments. 

However, there’s a challenge.  Each of the three IAB specs was designed for a distinct scenario, and we live in a world where those scenarios are increasingly blurring together.  Companies are increasingly dealing with the convergence of these standards, asking questions like: 

  • How can VPAID and MRAID best be used together? 
  • While MRAID was developed for in-app experiences, what about browser-based apps? 
  • Should SafeFrame be the sole solution for browser-based experiences?

To formulate a game plan for addressing this convergence, IAB assembled leaders from each of the three standards efforts, along with relevant IAB staff, to publish a perspective on the challenges of bringing these standards into harmony with one another.  This document includes an overview of the specifications, the challenges we’re hearing about from the industry, and an overview of next steps IAB intends to take.  Over the long-term, there’s no question that we should place VPAID, SafeFrame, and MRAID on a convergence path.  But that’s necessarily going to be a lengthy process.  

In the short and medium term, we are talking with industry representatives about how to formulate best practices for working effectively with these specs, notably combining VPAID and MRAID, and other best practices as industry need warrants.  We encourage interested members to get involved as we make sure MRAID, VPAID, and SafeFrame stay relevant and valuable in a rapidly evolving—and converging—digital advertising world. 


About the Author

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Joe Laszlo

Joe Laszlo is Senior Director, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, at the IAB.

 


Digital Video In-Stream Metrics Released!

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If you are familiar with the story of the Tower of Babel, you’re aware of the potential power behind a commonly understood language. When everyone accepts definitions in the same way, the chance of confusion is eliminated and time can be spent more efficiently in progressing forward rather than having to consistently translate various interpretations. Digital Video In-Stream Metrics serve this exact purpose for buyers and sellers of digital video in-stream advertising, and have played an important role in maturing the industry and supporting its evolution. 

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Digital video is a fast moving marketing channel undergoing a large amount of innovation and technical functionality, so the industry will need to periodically review and revise standards to reflect the needs of current practice. The last update to the metrics was in 2008, so IAB convened a working group to modernize the metrics but we found during comment periods that there were some prevailing questions that we chose to address outside of the document. 

We hosted the webinar, Digital Video Metrics Modernized to provide an overview of the document and addressed those questions, and as an added layer of clarity we have outlined them in an FAQ. Ultimately, our goal is to enable growth in the industry. We do this by building and maintaining consensus around the use of these metrics and concepts so that buyers understand sellers and transparency is established.


FAQ Digital Video In-Stream Metric Definitions 

Why not combine the metric definitions with the Impression Measurement Guidelines?

IAB Impression Measurement Guidelines, which have been developed for display, mobile and digital video, describe technical details for how an ad impression should be counted in each of the specified contexts. Each of the Impression Measurement Guidelines documents is used in the industry to establish sound measurement practices for ad impressions. 

In contrast, the Digital Video In-Stream Metric Definition document, simply describe a baseline of interactive metrics that companies can voluntarily track in digital video. No technical guidelines are imposed for how each metric is measured, allowing companies make the best use of their technology while offering the Industry a common definition for select interactive digital video metrics.

Why isn’t viewability covered in the update to metric definitions for digital in-stream video?

Viewability in digital video is a more complex issue than simply defining a term. The 2014 Digital In-Stream Video Metric Definitions only defines a baseline set of interactive metrics that the industry can use as a common lexicon. However, establishing common measurement practices for determining whether an ad is in view requires a process that identifies and addresses technical and operational challenges. The Make Measurements Make Sense (3MS) initiative is leading the efforts toward more effective impression measurements. As a standard becomes adopted in the industry, these metric definitions may be updated to reflect relevant changes.

We serve video ads into 300x250 placements on websites. Why is this being excluded from the definition for digital video in-stream video ads?

The format of an ad does not make it a digital video in-stream video ad; the context into which the ad is served defines digital in-stream video ads. The technology for receiving and executing ads is different and requires different resources when the ad is served into a webpage and when served into a video player. Video ads that are served into a webpage are commonly known as in-banner video ads and are executed by the browser. Separately, ads served into a player are received and executed by the player—each of which may be built using proprietary code. Therefore, only ads served to a player (video or otherwise), constitute a digital in-stream video ad.

What constitutes a “player?”

In the context of digital in-stream video, a player is a browser-based computer program that executes videos, animation, or games that streams publisher content.

One advertising strategy we use is to stream short clips of content along with ads into a display placement on a publisher’s webpage. Our ads are played before, during, or after the content we serve, and they’re served into a player. Are our ads considered digital in-stream video ads?

If the content being streamed belongs to the same publisher that also owns the webpage content into which you are serving the clips and ads, then yes. For example, a news publisher may post several short news clips in the sidebar of their page. Ads served into these news clips are considered digital in-stream video ads.

However, if the content belongs to publishers other than the one who owns the page content, and especially if that content is served to a display ad placement on the page, the content is a form of advertising. In this case, the content, as well as the ads served with it, are being served to the webpage and classified as in-page, or in-banner video ads.

Is mobile covered in this metric definition update?

Ads served into browser-based players that stream publisher content are considered digital in-stream ads, regardless of the device in which they play. However, mobile devices present some challenges to tracking ad interactions. Native players in mobile devices are capable of playing content while offline and therefore lack the persistent connection required for communicating ad interactions in real time. For now, the 2014 Digital In-Stream Video Metric Definitions are restricted to the context of live streaming content. However, to the extent possible, these metric definitions may be applied to native digital players in mobile.

Are the ads we serve into games considered digital in-stream video ads?

Yes, game publishers may sell ad inventory that is served into their browser-based game players. Ads served into these players are considered digital in-stream video ads.


About the Author
Jessica Anderson
Jessica Anderson is Senior Manager of Advertising Technology at IAB. 





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In this, the final installment of the IABlog series, “IAB Asks NewFront Sellers,” NewFront founders and presenters share what excites them the most with regard to digital video content, advertising, and the NewFronts.  Here’s what they had to say:

Ben Dietz, VP Sales & Business Development, VICE Media 

We’re excited about the IAB Rising Stars, in terms of their ability to incorporate video into certain units. We think longer-form video is going to continue to be a mode that people adopt. A quarter of all videos on YouTube right now are 20 minutes or longer. So there’s a huge appetite and a huge shift in the desire to consume longer pieces of content. Ads can probably get longer and less “selly” as a result. 

Jack Bamberger, Head of Agency and Industry Relations, AOL

People should attend AOL’s NewFront on April 29th and they’ll find out. We’ve got some surprises ad exciting announcements that we’ll be unveiling at the NewFront separate from our slate. Last year we were very bold in measurement, very bold in original content, and there’s no reason to expect anything but a continuation of AOL investing more in video. A great example is our acquisition from September of last year Adap.TV and what does that mean to the industry in terms of programmatic video. 

Jonathan Perelman, GM of Video & VP Agency Strategy, BuzzFeed 

It’s about highlighting ways that brands can do really compelling, sharable, video content. That to me is not pre-roll or TrueView ads, but it’s actually custom, bespoke, branded videos that tap into learnings and understandings about what makes video successful and doing that with brands. That’s what I’m really excited about and what we at BuzzFeed have been doing and are really excited to do a lot more of. NewFronts_LogoLock5.jpg

Peter Naylor, SVP Advertising, Hulu

As content consumption continues to be a multi-screen experience, we will see more ad formats with the ability to run across different platforms. On Hulu, we see over 3,000 multi-platform combinations used to watch Hulu Plus each month. For example, I watch Hulu Plus on an iPhone, iPad and my PC. I find that stat to be highly illustrative of the direction consumers are headed. And we can’t just follow where consumers are going, we have to always lead and be one step ahead. So, the ability to run ads across different platforms is a big trend. Another big trend - geo targeting, and ads that are targeted to local viewers.

The Hulu Upfront will take place April 30th in New York, and we’re excited to talk about how we are staying ahead of industry trends and innovating in the space on behalf of our advertising partners, content partners and users. I don’t want to give away too much (you’ll have to wait for the upfront!) but we’ll be sharing some new ways we can help advertisers reach their target audience through innovative new formats, alongside great new programming on our platform.

Jason Krebs, Head of Sales, and Erin McPherson, Chief Content Officer, Maker Studios

Krebs: Everything we’ve touched on [for this Q&A] are trends, because they’re very early. Either it’s Erin fielding different calls from new creators in Hollywood, traditional again, who’ve never done anything online. We have advertisers also asking us about potential new ways that we can take our creators and get them involved in their story. How are things happening socially? Are people sharing these? What are the view times? What are their browsing habits? Are they stumbling upon content? Are they tuning in? We have the whole subscription notion of YouYube. Many of the biggest subscribed channels in YouTube across the earth are Maker creators, and what does that mean? What’s a publishing cycle look? How often should we be producing this content? Where are people coming from when they’ve come to that content? Where do they go after? All of these things. We haven’t said the word data yet, so now I’m saying the word data. All those points are completely brand new. The trend of using all of that so everyone is better at what they do, advertisers and creators and consumers, it’s all early on and very exciting. 

McPherson: For a while now native has been a buzzword. People use that word loosely and broadly. We certainly use it when we’re talking about advertising that is truly organic to the consumer. Native content can be a creative idea that we work on with a brand. Native can also encompass a kind of ad that we’re in the early days of seeing in video. I’ll call it a smart ad, a targeted ad, an ad that understands what consumers’ behavior and interests are. We’re in the early days with video in personalization, really being able to customize not just your video content, but your video ad experience.

About the 2014 Digital Content NewFronts
Each year, thousands of people attend the Digital Content NewFronts to witness great new original video content, learn marketing best practices, and hear headline-grabbing announcements about partnerships that will change the course of the digital medium. This powerful series of presentations proves that digital video is the right place for brands to engage with consumers because consumers are engaging with digital video. Presenters include AOL, DigitasLBi, Google/YouTube, Hulu, Microsoft, Yahoo, and more. Learn More & See Schedule

IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace, Spotlight: Video, May 15, 2014
If you’re interested in digital video, IAB is bringing together thought leaders from both brands and agencies for the IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace. We’ll reveal how the buy and sell side are partnering to develop, deploy, and evaluate the success of multi-screen/multi-channel content and brand experiences, and the increasingly powerful role video is playing in this revolution. Learn More & See Agenda


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In this installment of the IABlog series, NewFront founders and presenters reveal how they see the relationship between emerging video consumption devices and good, old TV. We asked them: 

There’s a theory that mobile video and connected TV will start taking big chunks of consumer and advertising time out of basic cable fare. Is this happening? If not, why not?

Jonathan Perelman, GM of Video & VP Agency Strategy, BuzzFeed

Over half of our views are coming on mobile. I wrote something recently that said, for the last 7-10 years, people have been wondering if it’s the year of mobile. The reality is every year is the year of mobile ever since then. I was on the subway this morning and someone was watching a full-on movie on their phone. That 5 years ago was not something anyone would ever consider. Mobile is only going to grow and become more and more important to consumers and thus to advertisers. 

IAB: Do you think mobile is competing with TV at all audience time or advertising budget? 

Perelman: No, but we do see a lot of BuzzFeed video being watched during primetime, which that means someone is presumably sitting on their sofa maybe watching something else while on a social network. Someone passes along a video to them, and they’re going to click and play it while they’re watching something else. So I think, there’s maybe a burgeoning competition, but in terms of numbers and dollars it’s not so much a completion. 

Peter Naylor, SVP Advertising, Hulu

Everyone is limited to just 24 hours a day. That’s a constant. The variable is how people choose to spend their time, of course. There’s been a trend for many years that points to the rise of time spent with media and the rise of multi-tasking. So the media pie is getting bigger, but the slices of the pie are getting thinner. People now have the ability to time shift, device shift and place shift their media, and they are taking full advantage of all screens. We are essentially competing for mindshare and time share -quality content coupled with a best-in-class user experience is the key to being an essential part of a consumers daily entertainment choices.NewFronts_LogoLock4.jpg

Erin McPherson, Chief Content Officer, and Jason Krebs, Head of Sales, Maker Studios

McPherson: A lot of folks from the TV industry side say, “TV’s never been healthier,” which in many ways is true. The data I’ve looked at most recently showed consumption rising on traditional television platforms, as well as on digital. The secret here lies in—I won’t even call it second screen because second screen has come to mean a screen that interplays with your first screen—I’ll call it multiscreen. They are watching YouTube videos while they have the game on. Or they’re watching video in their Facebook or Twitter feeds, while they’ve have a reality show on. So the television is on but are people watching?  How are they watching and how are they engaging? At Maker, consumers don’t just view, they engage. 

Krebs: It’s the classic lean back and lean forward. We have a lot of lean forward, people interacting with the content, with the comments, with the sharing, as well as interacting with the ads themselves. We have a pretty vibrant business in ad creative that is purely interactive, where people can dive in more. 

Ben Dietz, VP Sales & Business Development, VICE Media

It’s not like we study the Nielsen ratings and go “ABC morning news is down 20%.” It’s more anecdotal, what we hear from our millennial audience. They’re consuming more on mobile. They’re consuming more online. They’re consuming more in a time-shifted fashion, and then beyond that they’re looking deeper into content that falls outside of mainstream broadcasts. We hear loud and clear from our audience that they’re shifting away, and that we believe very firmly that with audience will come dollars. It’s not happening as quickly as we’d like and there are inequities in the marketplace such as the rate that we can get for mobile, which needs to come to parity quickly. But we see it happening, and it will happen more in the future.

About the 2014 Digital Content NewFronts
Each year, thousands of people attend the Digital Content NewFronts to witness great new original video content, learn marketing best practices, and hear headline-grabbing announcements about partnerships that will change the course of the digital medium. This powerful series of presentations proves that digital video is the right place for brands to engage with consumers because consumers are engaging with digital video. Presenters include AOL, DigitasLBi, Google/YouTube, Hulu, Microsoft, Yahoo, and more. Learn More & See Schedule

IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace, Spotlight: Video, May 15, 2014
If you’re interested in digital video, IAB is bringing together thought leaders from both brands and agencies for the IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace. We’ll reveal how the buy and sell side are partnering to develop, deploy, and evaluate the success of multi-screen/multi-channel content and brand experiences, and the increasingly powerful role video is playing in this revolution. Learn More & See Agenda

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In this installment of the IABlog series, “IAB Asks NewFront Sellers,” NewFront founders and presenters share their perspectives on the trajectory of digital video by answering this question: 

Is this the golden age of video? If so, how come? If not, when will we see a golden age, and what will it look like?

Ben Dietz, VP Sales & Business Development, VICE Media

No. The golden age of digital video is yet to come. You look at a) the decreasing cost of production which is democratizing the format; b) the increasing capacity for things like live streaming and video-on-demand; and c) things like oculus rift that change the way we watch and the way that we experience video; and I would say the golden age of digital video is some years ahead of us. That being said, I think it’s a great time to be in digital video because you can make stuff that is intended for desktop, intended for mobile, intended for social and have it be premium enough and evolved enough that it can travel to the highest platforms in the world. You’ve seen digital shorts that we’ve made [turned] into feature films and win prizes at Sundance. It’s a tremendously exciting time, but the golden age is still a couple years off. 

Jack Bamberger, Head of Agency and Industry Relations, AOL

This is the golden age of premium content. If you don’t have good content that consumers engage with, share, like, want to watch, that’s meaningful to them and entertains them, delights them, surprises them, you’ve got nothing. And you’ve got to surprise them too. Ultimately this is about content. Do we want to connect it from convergence and pipe standpoint? You bet. But the content is ultimately the story. That is why AOL has invested so incredibly much in premium content. We have the largest video library in the industry, now over 900,000 pieces of content, growing rapidly on a daily basis. We are hugely invested in content creation and content curation. And our numbers continue to grow on an annual basis based on the premium content partnerships that we continue to build-on.

NewFronts_LogoLock3.jpgErin McPherson, Chief Content Officer, Maker Studios

I don’t think we’re there yet. We’re in the early age of video. We’re in the Jurassic stage of video. We haven’t even seen it yet. This is the beginning of massive, massive tidal wave.  

Peter Naylor, SVP Advertising, Hulu

It’s a great time for consumers. Mike Hopkins, Hulu CEO, just spoke at the Ad Age Digital conference earlier this month about this very topic - the “heyday” of television. There’s so much great content out there, and consumers who have grown up in a connected world have high expectations of how, when, and where they get their content.  Consumers who grew up in a three-network household are still wide-eyed at the abundance of programming available to them in this new on-demand world. Hulu can super-serve all audiences, so, yes, it’s absolutely a golden time to be in the video space.

About the 2014 Digital Content NewFronts
Each year, thousands of people attend the Digital Content NewFronts to witness great new original video content, learn marketing best practices, and hear headline-grabbing announcements about partnerships that will change the course of the digital medium. This powerful series of presentations proves that digital video is the right place for brands to engage with consumers because consumers are engaging with digital video. Presenters include AOL, DigitasLBi, Google/YouTube, Hulu, Microsoft, Yahoo, and more. Learn More & See Schedule

IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace, Spotlight: Video, May 15, 2014
If you’re interested in digital video, IAB is bringing together thought leaders from both brands and agencies for the IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace. We’ll reveal how the buy and sell side are partnering to develop, deploy, and evaluate the success of multi-screen/multi-channel content and brand experiences, and the increasingly powerful role video is playing in this revolution. Learn More & See Agenda

 


There is no doubt that mobile gaming is a hot topic that is attracting the notice of brand advertisers. Mobile gaming is growing significantly due to three key trends:
  1. Growth in smartphone and tablet usage (according to the IAB Mobile Center research, as of January 2014, 57% of all US adults owned a smartphone and 44% owned a tablet)
  2. Increasing sophistication in mobile app ecosystem
  3. Growing willingness among consumers to pay for virtual goods and accept mobile advertising
Mobile game monetization comes from:
  1. Virtual goods
  2. Paid apps and downloads
  3. Advertising
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Per eMarketer, mobile game monetization is projected to increase significantly over the next four years. All three of the primary monetization models—downloads, in-game/virtual goods, and ad-supported—will grow, but the mix will shift in favor of in-game/virtual goods.
 
For these reasons, the IAB Games and Mobile Committees convened a Town Hall discussion titled “The Future of Mobile Game Advertising.” Susan Borst, Director of Industry Initiatives and the IAB lead for the Games Committee stated that interest in game advertising has never been higher and bringing these two committees together is important given that nearly a third of all time spent on mobile is on games. Joe Lazlo, Senior Director of the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence added that successful game advertising has much to teach the rest of the mobile ecosystem.

Following a welcome and some perspective on the state of mobile games advertising from event host, Jeff Colen, Ad Sales & Marketing at Zynga, Lewis Ward, Research Director of Gaming at IDC, shared some background information on smartphone growth and share, consumer spending on games and consumer sentiment for game play by device.
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Lewis noted the growth of the tablet for game play, and in particular the iPad as gamer’s favorite iOS devices. He went on to say that significant demographic differences exist across the various mobile platforms, notably HH income and gender, which have obvious implications for game developers and advertisers. For instance, the IDC study showed a big disposable income gap between iOS and Android, and game play on Kindle Fire skews heavily female.

Defining and sizing smartphone and tablet ads is “tricky due to technology fragmentation and the rapid pace of market innovation and evolution,” said Lewis, and the audience agreed. This is an area where the IAB could work to provide some clarity. 


Source: IDC
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The key takeaway from the Town Hall discussion is that there has been a significant and important shift in just the past year or so and the momentum is building.  
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Key Highlights:

  1. Ad format evolution taking place: From advertising that offers player rewards, value exchange video advertising, rich media creative, branded content and more native integration—ads on games are becoming less aggravating—and more frictionless. 
    • There is an overall increased acceptance of advertising among users when advertising is executed in a way that brings value to their experience, is contextually relevant, delivered in a format that is visually appealing or synergistic to their mobile experience. Benjani highlighted inMobi’s focus on “working with studios and brands to create deeply integrated native ad experiences to connect advertisers to audiences globally.”
    • Emotional targeting that is additive to game play (creating value exchange between advertiser and user) tapping into players’ emotions and serving ads in the right place at the right time with the right message is a win for both advertisers and consumers. This allows the brand to be a welcome “hero” for the player, taking part in the user experience and offering players rewards during moments of “achievement” or tips at points of “frustration.” 
    • “In-game advertising is the only way brand marketers can reach and reward, encourage and rescue players in a way that adds value to the user experience. For example, during Breakthrough Moments™ (BTMs™), brands can reach game players during moments of “achievement,” such as when they get a new high score or a longest jump. With this approach, people will reciprocate the brand’s gift and take a post ad action—such as purchase a product or visit a website—and further engage with the brand, giving marketers a unique way to make lasting, meaningful connections with people,” said Brandt.
  1. Increasing focus on brand metrics: As Lewis noted, CPM, CPC, CPA and CPV all have some traction in mobile games, but increasingly, better brand metrics, analytics and real-time decisioning are changing the way effectiveness is measured. “Keep in mind as to where your ads are running as not all impressions are equal. If your primary KPI is to deliver a positive brand experience and association, look at where the ad is running and ask if you were playing this game - would you feel interrupted by or helped by this advertisement? User experience is at the paramount of successfully advertising on mobile and simply porting over outdated ad units and placements from display advertising is not enough. These are personal experiences on mobile and the key is tailor advertising to match this new medium”, said O’Connor.
  2. More options for developers and advertisers: From in-app to HTML5, more options are emerging for game developers and advertisers to foster “native” experiences. Grossberg added: “Brands are also beginning to leverage HTML5 to create their own mobile web games (the game is the advertising!) to engage their target audience at scale through this preferred activity on mobile, and do so in a cost effective manner in a way that fosters social and viral growth.”
Mobile game integration is a reality and has become industry standard for marketers.  The IAB Games Committee is  finalizing a white paper titled “The Games Advertising Ecosystem” report which is intended to help the industry understand today’s game play, the core game types and advertising categories for marketers to reach consumers.  Stay tuned!

About the Author

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Kym Nelson

Kym Nelson serves as an IAB Games Committee Co-Chair and is Senior Vice President of Sales at Twitch TV, the world’s largest live-streaming video platform. In this role since May, 2013, she has created Twitch Media Group, launching an inside, direct-sales media group at Twitch. She is responsible for creating and leading a world-class sales organization that delivers completely new and innovative digital solutions on a platform that is spearheading digital media as we know it today.