Results tagged “Advertising” from IABlog

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
PANEL DISCUSSION
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. 

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In this, the first installment of the blog series, IAB asks 2014 Digital Content NewFronts founders and presenters to explore the relationship between digital video and traditional television, by answering the question:

In what ways do you see digital video filling in gaps that are being created in classic TV and/or creating new information and entertainment modalities?

Jack Bamberger, Head of Agency and Industry Relations, AOL

I don’t look at it as digital video filling gaps verses classic TV. We look at it as connecting it all. This is about connecting advertisers, creators, publishers, consumers, and really the connecting of digital and TV. That is what we see as the future, and that’s what were very, very excited about building toward with AOL video. This is about connecting, nothing more, and in fact, the theme of our NewFront this year is “Connected.” Because that’s really what it’s all about. It’s about all of this convergence that’s going on. It’s about cross-screen. We don’t even use the word “mobile” at AOL. We use the words “cross-screen”, because we look at this holistically. As an example, AOL is on 17 different over-the-top devices. I only see that number increasing. 

Ben Dietz, VP Sales & Business Development, VICE Media 

Broadcast TV, by definition, has to be broad in its appeal. Digital video, because it can be made inexpensively and it can be made by niche groups, means we can tell everyone’s story. We can tell stories that are the most compelling, not just the most widely appealing. Second, digital video can be used in conjunction with other technologies to tell a new kind of multi-layered story… Digital video allows us to incorporate social; it allows us to incorporate events; it allows us to incorporate disparate personalities in a way that the broadcast medium and linear formats don’t. For our partner AT&T we made a film called The Network Diaries. It’s based on a true-life event that’s brought to life as a scripted recreation. If you text in a short code prior to the film’s beginning, you get text messages that correspond to developments in the film

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

Krebs: There are new connection points with consumers. But it’s also just as much about the technology and the screens. People are walking around with them in their pockets and their backpacks, so the combination of those two things became very important. Then, something that not a lot of people talk about is you really couldn’t get what was on your TV on the screen in your pocket. 

Logos.jpgMcPherson: The way digital is filling gaps is very nuanced. One, the move to digital by consumers is keeping pace with the massive platform shift to mobile. Two, there’s a new genre that digital captured and that’s short-form. Short-form content and storytelling is something that was born really on digital platforms, and it’s become a major consumption point especially for younger audiences. They are playlisting content in the way we all playlist music. And short-form storytelling is really coming into its own as a genre. So there is the mobile shift. There is short-form. There’s video on-demand. Digital really enables non-linear viewing and on-demand viewing in targeted way that tradition television cannot. 

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

Digital video is different than television, and the advertising that works on each platform is very different. At BuzzFeed just about 50% of our video views come on a mobile device. What we believe is that we can create really compelling videos, and we do create really compelling videos. We can do that for brands as well, and we’ve done that. So what’s interesting to me is to look at ways that brands can tell great stories using video that’s different from television. It really focuses all on sharing. You think about why someone will not only engage with video meaning to watch it but also then ultimately to share it. I think that’s the highest marker, saying, “I like this, you’ll like it.”

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

IAB Standards Reach Japan

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As we hear of increased demand for IAB or IAB-like standards, guidelines and best practices in countries where IAB does not yet have a local IAB operation, we are intentionally seeking ways to engage in meaningful discussions and collaborate on specific initiatives in strategic markets like Japan.  
 
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IAB has been working in close collaboration with D.A. Consortium in Japan for nearly a year. As strong advocates for IAB standards and guidelines, DAC announced its launch of IAB Mobile Rising Stars in Japan and conducted research into their effectiveness in that marketplace. DAC has also translated and published on their subsidiary PlatformOne in Japan the IAB whitepaper “Programmatic and Automation: The Publisher’s Perspective”, part of IAB Digital Simplified Series.
 
Continuing this trend, the DAC team just recently they published a translation of the IAB whitepaper “Privacy and Tracking in a Post-Cookie World”. Click here to view the Japanese version or here for the original English version.

About the Author

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Alexandra Salomon

Alexandra Salomon is the Senior Director, International at the Interactive Advertising Bureau



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At a recent IAB Town Hall gathering supported by the Content Marketing Task Force and Social Media Committee, members met to discuss the rise of visual content marketing as part of the digital communications mix, focusing on the animated GIF.

In an entertaining presentation titled “Moving the Needle: The Power of the Animated GIF for Publishers & Advertisers,” Tumblr’s Creative Technologist Max Sebela presented the history and significance of the GIF as a file format—including its decline in popularity and recent resurgence as a prime communication tool, plus best practices and the “secrets” behind a great GIF. 

“GIFs were the first file format to give color and personality to the Internet, and they’re experiencing an exciting renaissance as an instrumental force in content creation, consumption and cultivating culture on Tumblr and across the web,” said Sebela.  “We’re seeing a pivotal shift in marketers embracing the animation platform to tell compelling brand stories, connect with consumers, and drive engagement and earned media.”

Members were invited to share their perspective on the GIF format as part of their content marketing mix.
Animation credit: Tumblr

Buzzfeed, arguably one of the most prolific GIF users in the publishing world, added:

BuzzFeed2.gif“If a picture is worth a thousand words, a GIF is worth 10,000. GIFs are a mini-vehicle for storytelling, capturing emotions and communicating them in a concise way that words and pictures alone cannot.” -Joe Puglisi, Senior Creative Strategist, Buzzfeed

“People scroll past hundreds of images everyday on the internet without batting an eyelid. An animated element goes a long way towards bringing an idea to life, and turning an ordinary static image into an extraordinary, eye-catching concept. GIFs help us trim the fat and highlight the core emotional truth behind an instance or idea.” -Will Herring, Senior Creative, Buzzfeed


Animation credit: Will Herring, Buzzfeed

According to Sarah Wood, Co-Founder and COO of Unruly

“The GIF has been re-energized as a format, likely tied to the success and emergence of “sugar cube” content on Vine and Instagram Video.  Portable, postable nearly everywhere, featuring fast load times and quirky, jerky looping “video,” the animated GIF, like Vine, is a content gateway.  GIFs and Vines are both low cost forms of content creation that require the barest of tools and enable a new army of content creators to express themselves.  The limitations of these formats only add to the creativity required to make awesome content.  As short as a couple of seconds, the animated GIF broadens the dimensions of the video content spectrum, followed by Vine at 6 seconds, Instagram Video at 15, all the way to the 2-5 minute social videos we’ve seen trend on the Viral Video Chart.  Animated GIFs and Vine require zero budget—and highlight the democratization of online content.  Brands of all sizes can easily use these formats to drive their social conversation with custom content to win the hearts and minds of consumers, and get their feet wet before expanding to longer forms of video.”

Ahalogy’s Raman Sehgal, VP of Client Services, was quick to point out that Pinterest now supports GIFs and offered this suggestion to marketers looking to take advantage of this new content on the visual discovery platform, “When pinning, always remember the consumer context.  Pinterest is not just a social network, but a content discovery tool.  Marketers need to make sure their pinned GIFs add meaningful value for a user, and are in the right brand lens.  Many of our brand clients treat GIFs on Pinterest not as ads, but rather as inspiring short-form stories.”  See an example here.

Demand Media has a dedicated GIF offering for their clients, says Christine Fleming, Senior Director of Content Strategy and Monetization:

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“The intent of our animated GIF offering is to have the best of both worlds: the instructions and the visualization of those instructions, all in one, without having to go back and forth between an article and a video for example.  We’ve seen an increase in CTR (as compared to related articles and videos) by adding GIFs to related content alongside articles.  We create content that meets the needs of people in their everyday lives, so this it’s a perfect format for step by step tasks that require in motion visual instructions, like cooking or fitness or even making a clothespin earbud holder!” 


Animation credit: Demand Media

Lastly, Business Insider shared an example of how they are incorporating GIFs into editorial content to help bring stories to life. Emily Allen, SVP Ad Strategy added, “They’re great for showing short snippets of video and are much more convenient for the reader.  GIFs are more dynamic than photographs.  They offer the same effect as in the Daily Prophet in Harry Potter - except without the magic.”  

From advertising to sponsored content to editorial usage, it is clear that GIFs are an exciting and powerful element in the visual content marketing toolbox for publishers, marketers and agencies alike.  IAB will continue to host sessions where members will share their content marketing best practices for industry gain. 

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

Make Mobile Work Kicks Off with "HTML5: The Mobile Opportunity"

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In case you haven’t heard - we here at the IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence are on the charge to Make Mobile Work this year. Based on our research last year around marketer perceptions of mobile and roadblocks to broader adoption of mobile advertising we’re setting out to show brands and agencies how to overcome these issues (both real and perceived) and start engaging with audiences on all of their devices. 

Our first webinar took place last Tuesday, March 18 and was all about discovering the power of HTML5 to create superior mobile ad creative. More than 150 marketers, agency buyers and publishers joined in to hear the IAB, AOL and Google discuss the importance of mobile advertising and steps to get started using HTML5. The webinar showed the power of HTML5, increased engagement of these ads and a walk through of how one brand started down the path to adjust from a Flash-only strategy. You can view the webinar and accompanying materials here as well as explore upcoming sessions on Make Mobile Work.

To keep the conversation going, Mollie Spilman, EVP Global Sales & Operations at Millennial Media, one of the original signatories of our Open Letter to Marketers, shared the following findings:

Millennial Media HTML5 Report
Through the use of rich media, agencies and brands are creating clear, meaningful experiences for their audiences. They’re going beyond the banner to leverage unique features such as gamification, swipe galleries, voice recognition, video, and more - and seeing the benefits in spades. 

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In our latest Millennial Media S.M.A.R.T., we report on the impact rich media and video ads have on click-through rate (CTR) vs. standard banners. Automotive rich media and video ads, for example, saw an average of 3.5 times the CTR of standard banners. We’ve found that automotive advertisers often use video in their campaigns to show in-action driving, or dynamic ads that allow a consumer to swipe through different vehicle models or colors. Rich media and video ads run by education advertisers also saw 3.5 times greater CTR than standard banners. These brands incorporate animation, short quizzes, and video to get consumers thinking about their learning needs and resulting careers. Similarly, consumer goods’ rich media and video ads saw an average of 2.6 times the CTR compared to standard banner ads. Consumer goods advertisers tend to use video and interactive games to drive brand awareness.

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EY (Formerly Ernst & Young) is one company taking its brand awareness to the next level through rich media. In an effort to stay top of mind for - and appeal to - business and accounting majors interested in post-grad entry level positions, EY tapped Millennial Media and Mediahub/Mullen to craft an interactive, highly-targeted campaign. The creative teams collaborated on a strategy to take the main pillar of EY’s campaign, “Amazing from every angle,” and turn the messaging into an engaging experience that allowed mobile users to choose from a selection of origami figures and create them virtually through their smartphones’ touch screen. To ensure the creative reached the most relevant audience, Millennial Media also added deployed geo-location targeting capabilities to pinpoint, within two miles, the 57 pre-selected university campuses.
Rich media capabilities will continue to evolve as mobile devices evolve - but don’t wait! Creative teams are pushing the limits of mobile, much to the benefit and satisfaction of advertisers and consumers. 




About the Authors


sp_smith_belinda_100x134.jpgBelinda J. Smith

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



Mollie Spilman_Millennial Media.jpgMollie Spilman

Mollie Spilman is EVP of Global Sales & Operations at Millennial Media




So Why Aren’t You Supporting SafeFrame?


Last year, IAB issued an industry-wide call to replace all iFrames used in digital advertising with SafeFrames. We did so, fully understanding the enormity of the work that would be required of publishers to re-tag an estimated 60% of the Internet—not a trivial task. SafeFrame is a new ad serving technology standard developed to enhance in-vivo communication between digital ads and the publisher pages where those ads are displayed, all while maintaining strict security controls.  As we approach the one year anniversary of SafeFrame’s release (March 19th) I think it’s fair to state that, while industry adoption is chugging along, it could be better. SafeFrame_Link_new.jpg

One notable early adopter of SafeFrame is Yahoo. Today a majority of Yahoo’s display advertising inventory is served in SafeFrames (that’s billions of impressions every day!) - and Yahoo is actively pushing towards a 100% deployment goal. To be fair to those still in the process of implementing SafeFrame, Yahoo co-led the industry initiative, along with Microsoft and IAB, to make SafeFrame an advertising standard. Nevertheless, to call Yahoo’s contribution to SafeFrame notable is really an understatement.

Since its release last year, a working group at IAB has been focused on tearing down barriers to SafeFrame adoption. The most cited of which has been the need for support by rich media vendors—an understandable barrier to those who comprehend the technical underpinnings of the digital supply chain. We realized early on that we were in a chicken-and-egg conundrum with respect to SafeFrame adoption—without dedicated support from rich media vendors, who package ad creative for trafficking across a variety of publisher sites, neither advertisers nor publishers would be particularly incented to adopt SafeFrame.

Yahoo stepped up to help the industry address the SafeFrame adoption challenge. Yahoo worked closely with top rich media vendors to get SafeFrame off the sidelines and into production environments globally. As a result of Yahoo’s leadership and efforts, 23 rich media vendors now support SafeFrame (see list of vendors.)

With this significant barrier removed, it’s time for those who have been on the sidelines to take action. And with Google’s update to DFP due to support SafeFrame in the first half of 2014, there should be no doubt that this new technology standard is here to stay.

Finally, what most people don’t know about SafeFrame: it’s not just about viewable impressions. Sure, SafeFrame provides publishers, marketers and third-party ad verification services a simple, transparent, standards-based and cost-free API for determining an ad’s viewability state. And with all the deserved attention 3MS (Making Measurement Make Sense) has brought to viewable this past year, it’s no wonder that folks have honed in on this key feature of SafeFrame. So, while SafeFrame helps to solve for viewability measurement, it can do so much more.  

Think of SafeFrame as an extensible technology platform that can be used to solve for many issues confronting our digital supply chain. To name a few, SafeFrame already supports programmatic sale of expanding rich media, sharing of metadata, enhanced consumer security and privacy controls, enhanced publisher security and the prevention of cookie bombing. With more SafeFrame features currently in the development pipeline, we see SafeFrame as a base standard that will be extended in ways we have yet to conceive. Simply stated, SafeFrame is the new container tag for digital advertising: it solves many of the digital supply chain issues we face today as digital advertisers and publishers, and is extensible to solve tomorrow’s problems too.

To learn more about why your company should be supporting SafeFrame, we’ve made it simple, with easy to understand educational materials for the marketplace, including an educational video, a feature comparison chart of ad trafficking methods, and an extensive FAQ.  

For questions involving SafeFrame or how to get involved with SafeFrame initiatives at IAB please reach out to Alan Turransky.


About the Author

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Chris Mejia, former Sr. Director of Ad Technology at IAB












IAB University - A Place For Learning

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I’ve been thinking about my job title for some time now. Something about it has been troubling me, and I believe I have finally figured it out.

Since we launched the IAB Certification program nearly two years ago I’ve been Vice President, Training and Development.  Now, at the IAB we don’t go out of our way to be cute or creative when we use titles; they are meant to be accurate, expressive, and to-the-point. No Senseis or Shepherds here. As a result no one has ever not understood what my role is at the IAB.

Still, the longer that I’ve had this position, the more the title has seemed inappropriate to me. It’s the word training that bothers me. Training is something that’s done to people (or dogs!) Training sounds passive. It conjures up the image of a student held hostage in a classroom, passively absorbing information. Training is what managers send employees through.

classroom.jpgBut learning is completely different. Learning is active, not passive. We choose to learn. We all want to learn, all the time, to experience new things. Learning occurs in the classroom, but it also happens on the job, at home, anywhere and everywhere; with others or by oneself. Others might control my training, but I control my learning. Which one is more likely to stick with me?

That’s why we created IAB University (IAB.U), an industry educational hub where everyone across the ecosystem, from every level, can come together to learn from each other. At IAB University you can be on the receiving end of digital advertising education or you can teach your peers. Plus, participants receive IAB Learning Credits good towards IAB Digital Media Sales or IAB Digital Ad Operations recertification programs, if they need them.
iabu.jpg
The IAB is flush with subject matter experts. Experts abound. Need to learn the latest on programmatic? Interested in how native advertising works? Unclear on what a viewable impression is?  If there’s something you need to know about digital advertising, our members have the answers. The IAB has always been a tremendous resource for thought leadership and cutting-edge expertise; that’s truer today than ever as our industry continues its remarkable growth.

We realize more and more people come to the IAB to learn. We are attracting more junior level employees and people relatively new to the industry. Learning comes in all flavors— a webinar, a conference, a panel of experts, a town hall of newbies. Just about every program the IAB offers is a learning experience, and we hope you will take advantage of those learning experiences whether you are seeking recertification or just want to stay abreast of what’s happening out there.

But here’s our hope—that many of you will share your expertise or newly-found research with others in our community. Did your company just release a piece of research? Turn it into a webinar for IAB members. Are you an expert on some new trend? Put together a panel so that IAB members can discuss, at your place or ours. Let’s figure out a way to make learning continuous and collaborative.

We’re already beginning to put together a free program of learning opportunities. If you are interested in learning more about IAB University or want to be part of the IAB University “faculty” to let us know what you want to teach please start here iab.net/iabu.

And with that…

 About the Author


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IAB University - A Place For Learning

| | Comments
I’ve been thinking about my job title for some time now. Something about it has been troubling me, and I believe I have finally figured it out.

Since we launched the IAB Certification program nearly two years ago I’ve been Vice President, Training and Development.  Now, at the IAB we don’t go out of our way to be cute or creative when we use titles; they are meant to be accurate, expressive, and to-the-point. No Senseis or Shepherds here. As a result no one has ever not understood what my role is at the IAB.

Still, the longer that I’ve had this position, the more the title has seemed inappropriate to me. It’s the word training that bothers me. Training is something that’s done to people (or dogs!) Training sounds passive. It conjures up the image of a student held hostage in a classroom, passively absorbing information. Training is what managers send employees through.

classroom.jpgBut learning is completely different. Learning is active, not passive. We choose to learn. We all want to learn, all the time, to experience new things. Learning occurs in the classroom, but it also happens on the job, at home, anywhere and everywhere; with others or by oneself. Others might control my training, but I control my learning. Which one is more likely to stick with me?

That’s why we created IAB University (IAB.U), an industry educational hub where everyone across the ecosystem, from every level, can come together to learn from each other. At IAB University you can be on the receiving end of digital advertising education or you can teach your peers. Plus, participants receive IAB Learning Credits good towards IAB Digital Media Sales or IAB Digital Ad Operations recertification programs, if they need them.
iabu.jpg
The IAB is flush with subject matter experts. Experts abound. Need to learn the latest on programmatic? Interested in how native advertising works? Unclear on what a viewable impression is?  If there’s something you need to know about digital advertising, our members have the answers. The IAB has always been a tremendous resource for thought leadership and cutting-edge expertise; that’s truer today than ever as our industry continues its remarkable growth.

We realize more and more people come to the IAB to learn. We are attracting more junior level employees and people relatively new to the industry. Learning comes in all flavors— a webinar, a conference, a panel of experts, a town hall of newbies. Just about every program the IAB offers is a learning experience, and we hope you will take advantage of those learning experiences whether you are seeking recertification or just want to stay abreast of what’s happening out there.

But here’s our hope—that many of you will share your expertise or newly-found research with others in our community. Did your company just release a piece of research? Turn it into a webinar for IAB members. Are you an expert on some new trend? Put together a panel so that IAB members can discuss, at your place or ours. Let’s figure out a way to make learning continuous and collaborative.

We’re already beginning to put together a free program of learning opportunities. If you are interested in learning more about IAB University or want to be part of the IAB University “faculty” to let us know what you want to teach please start here iab.net/iabu.

And with that…

 About the Author


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IAB Launches Digital Advertising Regulation 101 Guide

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Are you familiar with Section 5 of the FTC Act?   Do you know how the government enforces its privacy laws?  What are the important state and federal laws that are relevant to your business model?

 Historically, the U.S approach to regulating privacy has been largely sectorial, meaning that there are a number of laws in place that address individual industries (e.g., healthcare or financial services) versus the far more comprehensive approach taken by the European Union.

To provide digital advertisers with a basic working knowledge of the current privacy laws applicable to the industry, the IAB has created a Digital Advertising Regulation 101 resource

This guide is for those with a limited understanding of current privacy law who are looking to learn a little bit more about the U.S.’s basic approach to these issues.  It is not meant to provide extensive detail into legislative histories or prognosticate on the outcome of pending privacy cases winding their way through the courts, but instead to give those new to the world of privacy a lay of the land.  

The guide covers all facets of digital advertising regulation.  It explains the basic rules that businesses need to follow, outlines both federal and state regulation, and provides summaries of sector-specific rules pertinent to digital advertising (all linking out to further information for those interested in delving deeper into a certain topic).  

This new resource is a supplement to the IAB’s Legislative and Regulatory Tracker that went online in October of last year.  It is meant to provide a general overview of the policies already in place, while the Legislative Tracker shows up-to-date developments on individual pieces of pending legislation in the context of digital advertising.

About the Author

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Stephen Hicks

Since February 2009, Hicks has served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Ziff Davis, LLC. and its predecessor. Hicks is co-chair of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) legal affairs committee. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Hicks served as General Counsel and Secretary for: MTM Technologies Inc. a publicly traded IT services provider and product resller; OutlookSoft Corp. a VC backed international financial software corporation acquired by SAP; and AMICAS Inc. (formerly VitalWorks) a publicly traded medical software corporation. Hicks also worked on the executive staff of Dennis Vacco, the New York State Attorney General; and was an associate at a New York law firm.
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Demand for programmatic buying in mobile has skyrocketed in 2013. At the IAB, we saw this trend unfolding and launched the Mobile Programmatic Buying Working Group, led by Joe Laszlo as staff manager and Victor Milligan of Nexage as chair, to address this rapid growth and the unique aspects of mobile programmatic. As the working group’s leaders, we co-wrote this post to outline some of the key takeaways from the group’s conversations, and share our thoughts for 2014.

While there are certainly similarities between PC and mobile programmatic, the differences warrant a working group dedicated to mobile. These differences are critical design points for publishers, exchanges, buyers, agencies, and advertisers, and include:

  • Mobile’s unique and massive applications and game ecosystem
  • Mobile’s data model that is built absent a universal, persistent third-party cookie
  • Mobile’s unique targetable data including location (notably lat/long), mobile OS (iOS and Android), carrier, connection type, and device types.
  • Mobile’s form factor and the importance of creative that is optimized for smartphones and tablets

The Mobile Programmatic Buying Working Group brings together 40 individuals at a diverse array of IAB member companies with a shared interest in how programmatic is evolving in mobile and how the IAB can help members understand and fully capitalize on programmatic.

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Takeaways 

The group’s first task was to organize the broad concept called programmatic and focus on those items important—and unique—to mobile. 

Given that programmatic has come onto the digital landscape quickly and that programmatic itself describes a family of technologies, we needed to itemize and define the different programmatic markets. Aligned with the IAB Programmatic Publishers Task Force, we identified four types of marketplaces:

  • Automated Guaranteed (reserved inventory at a fixed price, just transacted via an exchange, also known as programmatic reserved or guaranteed)
  • Unreserved Fixed Rate (unreserved inventory at a fixed price, also known as preferred deals or first right of refusal)
  • Invitation-Only Auction (unreserved inventory sold at auction, but to a select number of potential bidders, commonly referred to private marketplace or exchange); and
  • Open Auction (unreserved inventory sold at auction, to any bidder, usually using real-time bidding [RTB]).

Although the world of ad exchanges (in both PC and mobile) started with a largely open auction model, other models such as various forms of invitation-only auctions like exclusive or first-look private exchanges have generated a great deal of interest from publishers and buyers alike. A recent analytics report from Nexage describes trending in programmatic and the extraordinary uptake in private exchanges, as publishers and buyers become more comfortable and adept at using private exchanges to accelerate their businesses.  

The task force then began to discuss key mobile programmatic issues that will guide our work. Examples include:

  • The data model: The lack of cookies in mobile has an impact across most elements of programmatic buying. Because third-party cookies are not typically available, mobile ad inventory relies on proprietary means of targeting, tracking, and accountability, which aren’t always articulated clearly to buyers. Nexage views exchanges in all their various manifestations as serving as a critical integration point between first-party data (e.g., from the publisher/network/inventory owner), brands’ CRM data, and third-party data. 
  • Targetable data: There are a number of data types that apply in mobile that don’t have PC analogs, including location, operating system, carrier, network connection (wifi, 3G, 4G, etc.), and even handset maker/device model.  Some of the parameters, are sometimes considered complicating aspects of mobile fragmentation, but they can be better seen as methods for better targeting in an exchange setting, providing a valuable proxy for consumer demographics (e.g., iPhone users are different from Android users).

  • Transparency: Ensuring that programmatic is not a black box but a clear box where transparency aids impression level decisioning is a priority. For example, latitude/longitude (lat/long) is a critical parameter for hyperlocal campaigns, but not all lat/long data are created equal. Some are GPS derived, but others are derived from zip code or post code, called centroid lat/long, which are far less precise. Some exchanges already have business controls to enable buyers to know which is which and target and price accordingly.

Looking Forward

Across both PC and mobile, programmatic is shifting from a disruptive force to a valuable (and necessary) solution connecting ad buyers with desired ad opportunities. As we get into 2014, we have several ambitions for our working group:

  • Analyze the issues related to mobile programmatic’s unique factors to help members best understand and capitalize on the opportunity.
  • Provide input to the IAB’s other programmatic efforts, making sure that mobile’s unique aspects are represented.
  • Continue to serve as a forum for exchanging experiences and sharing knowledge.
  • Start collecting emerging good or best practices and case studies to illuminate what is working for buyers and sellers alike. 
  • Organize an industry town hall conversation to help disseminate our learning to marketers and agencies that need it.

It’s been an exciting year for mobile programmatic buying, and next year promises to be even more so. We’re looking forward to kicking the Mobile Programmatic Working Group into high gear, addressing challenges and ensuring continued growth for everyone.

About the Authors 


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

Victor Milligan
Victor Milligan is the CMO of Nexage where he leads all marketing and analytic functions. Twitter: @vtmilligan.
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A Conversation with James O’Neill, VP, Director of Interactive Media at RJ Palmer, and Diaz Nesamoney, CEO of Jivox.

The increasing capabilities of digital advertising formats provide new opportunities for marketers to engage prospects and turn them into customers. Central to this endeavor are advertising agencies who translate brand objectives into effective communications programs. Just as important, these agencies also provide the bridge to the most appropriate and effective digital execution technologies to optimize client return on investment. Given the scope and speed of change, the importance of the partnerships between agencies and technology providers cannot be underestimated. It takes close collaboration between marketer, agency, and technology partners to get the most out of digital advertising. 

One such example is the collaboration between RJ Palmer, a leading agency and member of the MDC family, and Jivox, a cross-screen interactive ad platform company and winner of the IAB Digital Video Rising Stars competition. IAB asked James O’Neill (JO), VP, Director of Interactive Media at RJ Palmer, and Diaz Nesamoney (DN), CEO of Jivox, to elaborate on this partnership.

IAB: The team at RJ Palmer were early adopters of the Digital Video Rising Stars. How did you bring this about?

(JO) Many of our clients have a high level of comfort with video being the dominant focal point of their interactive plans.  Since we have been trying to accomplish additional engagement and social interaction goals via various avenues, it serves us well to embed that functionality into the tactic on which clients focus most.

IAB: How have these formats worked for RJ Palmer clients?

(JO) These units have worked really well for us because they continue to realize not only the primary purpose of video - reach, comparable to how television is measured - but also the supplemental benefit of aiding in the achievement of social and engagement milestones.

IAB Full Player Digital Video Rising Star - Zicam demo (courtesy Jivox)

IAB:  What have you learned from your early experiences, and what advice would you give to other agencies considering in-stream interactive digital video advertising?

(JO) The biggest realization has been in the positioning of the performance. When all stakeholders are on board with a campaign’s primary focus and all else is complementary, no one is underwhelmed with what may seem like a low performance for specific interactions. For example, if additional interaction includes a coupon print, no one should compare the number or cost of the coupon prints to a digital consumer promotions campaign with Coupons Inc.; that’s not an apples-to-apples comparison.

(DN) We have learned that less is more - greater user engagement comes not from overloading the ad with lots of buttons and interactions but rather from providing a meaningful set of options with which the user can engage and then leading them into a further immersive experience rather than overwhelming them with choices. We have to keep in mind that the video is the main creative asset, so we shouldn’t lose sight of that.

IAB: How do you measure success with these Digital Video Rising Stars formats?

(JO) Success of these formats still relies on the primary metric of video views but involves more nuances, with engagement rates acting as the differentiator between in-market or interested parties. For example, if reach is the same, wouldn’t a particular execution demonstrate greater value if it proved that the consumers were more likely to engage?

(DN) We use engagement rates measured as the number of times users interacted with the interactive elements in the ads. This is often coupled with engagement time - which measures how much time the user spent engaging with the ad experience. Both of these measures show value in interactive video as a way of creating greater user engagement. 

IAB: All digital display and mobile advertising is interactive, at least via a click-thru, yet the majority of digital video advertising is still not interactive. How do you see this changing?

(JO) I think the death of the click-thru as a primary metric is the reason that digital video is not interactive. The community views digital video more akin to TV, which isn’t interactive at all, so the interactivity and engagement shows no immediate benefit under this construct. In a black-and-white world, splashes of color do nothing until we start applying value to the color.

(DN) We think digital video is where display banners were 10 years ago. The first generation of banners looked much like their newspaper classified ad counterparts, i.e. static and non-interactive. They have, of course, since evolved to where now 40% of banners are rich interactive ads. With digital video, the number is something like 15% of ads being interactive; video ads are still generating high engagement rates even without being interactive, but once we start getting the equivalent of video ad blindness, we will probably see more rich interactive video ads as a way to make them stand out. 

IAB: What technical or operational issues did you have to overcome to launch these campaigns?

(JO) There’s a great deal of inherent risk when suggesting activations like this from a media perspective because we don’t hold the keys to creative assets or thinking. It takes a degree of loosening the grip of control of the process, from both the creative and media sides, to deal with this type of activation.

(DN) The varying sizes of video players - ranging from full-episode, TV-like video players to small players that are banner ad sized - posed a bit of a challenge to delivering creative that looked good regardless of the player size. We developed a “responsive” layout model similar to that used by mobile ads, in that our platform automatically selects a correctly sized layout to match the size of the video player. VPAID support by publishers was also a bit of limiting factor, but that has since largely been addressed now, with most publishers supporting VAST and VPAID standards for interactive video.

About the Author

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Peter Minnium 


As the Head of Brand Initiatives at IAB, Peter Minnium leads a series of initiatives designed to address the under-representation of creative brand advertising online. He can be reached on Twitter @PeterMinnium.
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The just-completed IAB MIXX Conference & Expo 2013 themed “Advertising is__________?,” explored the changing definition of advertising, with the two days focused on showcasing competing points of view, highlighting their differences, and looking for points of commonality. As part of this debate, the IAB convened a discussion on “Native Advertising: Fact and Fiction,” with the similar goal of creating a framework for understanding this hot new concept.

This session complements the work of the IAB Native Advertising Task Force, a group of companies 80+ members strong who are working to establish a framework for the native advertising space by putting forth a prospectus that clearly lays out today’s “native” landscape. This prospectus, targeted to advertisers, publishers, and ad tech providers, will provide a focused, guiding light to the industry while being broad enough that it can expand over time. In addition, it will provide a basis for further IAB initiatives in this space.

While the Task Force plans to publish their work in the fourth quarter, the IAB MIXX session attendees were given a sneak peak and chance to comment on the Task Force’s early findings. A panel of industry stakeholders led the feedback: Task Force Co-chair Patrick Albano, Vice President, Sales, Yahoo!; Steve Kondonijakos, Sr. Marketing Director, Federated Media; Stacy Minero, Leader, Content Marketing, Mindshare; Steve Rubel, Chief Content Strategist, Edelman; and Geoff Schiller, Chief Sales Officer, Hearst Digital.

The session kicked off with a discussion of the duality of “native advertising,” with the concept encompassing both an aspiration as well as a suite of ad products.  On the one hand, we all aspire to deliver “paid ads that are so cohesive with the page content, assimilated with the design, and consistent with the platform behavior that the viewer simply feels that they belong.”  On the other, tactically, advertisers must use ad products to achieve this, and the IAB Native Task Force has identified six categories commonly used today in pursuit of this goal:

1. Search Units, e.g. 
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2. Promoted Listings, e.g.:
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3. Recommended Content Units, e.g.:
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4. In-Feed Ads, e.g.:
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5. In-Ad (IAB Standard) Units, e.g.:
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6. Custom, e.g.:
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The group discussed at length the core dimensions of ads that feel native, including form, the extent to which the ad fits with the overall page design; function, how well the ad matches the editorial feel of the content in which it is nested; and technology, the degree to which the viewer can treat the ad like they can any other content on the site.  Amid a spirited debate, consensus is emerging that you can achieve a native experience through three, two, or even one of these, depending on the site, brand message, and audience mix. 

There was a great deal of enthusiasm in the room about the unique benefits that the advent of “native” has brought to display advertising. First and foremost, display advertising has been freed from the “ad ghetto” of the right rail and leaderboard to which it has long been confined and now has license to settle anywhere on the page. The horse is now out of the barn, and advertising will not be forced back into solely those positions. A corollary benefit of this move is getting advertising into the user’s natural activity stream—where print and TV advertising have always been. Allowing the viewer to interact further without leaving the site is much preferred to clicking through to a new website.  Finally, “native” is decidedly and overwhelmingly a form of brand advertising, a category that display has long fought with marginal success to conquer.

The lively conversation provided useful feedback to the IAB Native Task Force. Audience members encouraged the IAB to find the right balance between standardization and customization—giving enough firm guidance to help make the market, but not too much to stifle it—while best practices around disclosure were also highlighted as a need. 

Have we answered the question, “Native Advertising is__________?” The IAB Native Task Force and feedback for the IAB MIXX session clearly show that there is real agreement around what it is not: a single, uni-dimensional ad product. Rather, it is an end goal—an aspiration—that folks seek to attain via a number of paid advertising tactics. The IAB Native Task Force will absorb the advice and carry forward the enthusiasm of the IAB MIXX session as it works to publish the IAB Native Prospectus that details these principles in the fourth quarter.

About the Author
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 Peter Minnium


As the Head of Brand Initiatives at IAB, Peter Minnium leads a series of initiatives designed to address the under-representation of creative brand advertising online. He can be reached on Twitter @PeterMinnium.

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IAB releases Publisher’s perspectives on programmatic as first part in educational series

Programmatic buying and selling of advertising, real-time  bidding, and marketing automation is changing the way we transact digital media. Though numbers are very sketchy, by some accounts over 20% of all digital advertising is sold “programmatically” - and it’s growing rapidly. 

Programmatic-IAB_RTB.jpgYet programmatic competes with Native advertising for the title of “Buzzword of 2013”.  And the hyperbole couldn’t be more extreme. Concerns are rampant. Sales people are worried about becoming obsolete, losing their jobs to machines, and declining yields. Some buyers of digital media are worried that only crappy inventory is available programmatically. Aside from perhaps the ad tech community, there’s a great deal of smiling and nodding going on when people talk about the importance of programmatic, and not a lot of understanding. Ad agencies are worried that automation will mean standardization and less of a role for creativity and creatives.  On the other side, many see new technological innovation as the source of great potential value - creating significant efficiencies, new markets, and continuing to drive advertising dollars to digital.

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There is significant confusion in the marketplace around the meaning of terms like “programmatic”, “RTB”, “programmatic direct”, “programmatic premium”, and other verbiage, often being used interchangeably. New technologies are emerging which are creating significant value, but there is also a lack of clear technical standards to ensure interoperability across different platforms. Buyers and sellers are concerned with the limited transparency and number of vendors involved in the programmatic transaction.  And programmatic raises internal, organizational challenges for brands and agencies, and particularly for publishers with their existing direct sales teams and incentives.

Agencies and their clients have a lot to lose if programmatic isn’t implemented coherently: a set of technologies that aim to create market efficiencies could, instead, create a fragmented, illiquid marketplace if each media agency insists on creating its own proprietary marketplace with its own standards and its own technologies.

In the spirit of creating value for the entire marketplace and driving advertising dollars to digital, the IAB is working to tackle many of these challenges. Today it is releasing Digital Simplified: Programmatic and Automation - The Publishers’ Perspective,  the first in a new IAB educational series that offers easy-to-understand documents for the industry.  The piece aims to provide clarity, from the publishers’ perspective, on the different “programmatic” transaction types.  It outlines the four main ways of buying and selling “programmatically” and provides a clear framework for distinguishing between them.  It also highlights other factors commonly associated with each of these types of “programmatic” selling.

This is the first output of a newly created IAB Programmatic Publishers Task Force, chaired by Alanna Gombert, Senior Director Programmatic and Trading at Condé Nast and formerly of Ad Meld and Google.  The new Task Force is aimed at providing premium publishers a forum to come together to work on issues related to the programmatic agenda and how it impacts them.  Its goal is to help publishers establish market clarity and education around the programmatic ecosystem - both internally and externally. Barely a month after its launch there are now over 30 premium publishers participating in this initiative and the list is growing. In addition to working on clarity around definitions and terminology, the group is also working on issues around transparency across the value chain and sales force organizational issues.

The Programmatic Publishers Task Force is a key part of the overall IAB programmatic agenda.  This agenda focuses on firstly identifying and addressing the key business issues in the programmatic landscape, and secondly working on technical standards and implementation of standards to address these issues.   On the business side, in addition to its work with publishers, the IAB, in conjunction with The Winterberry Group, is conducting a thought-leadership research study to provide an effective roadmap to “programmatic” capabilities based on surveys and interviews with its members, to be released by the end of 2013. It is also working on mobile specific programmatic issues.  On the technical side, it is working on both digital automation implementation and open RTB standards.

For more information on the IAB’s work on programmatic marketing please go to iab.net/programmatic or contact Carl Kalapesi (below).

About the Author

Carl-Kalapesi-Bio-Picture-June-2013.jpgCarl Kalapesi is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) focusing on Programmatic, Quality Assurance Guidelines (QAG) and brand safety, performance marketing, networks & exchanges and multicultural.  He can be reached on Twitter @carlkalapesi or via email at at [email protected].