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programmatic Archives - Tan Media

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A beginner’s guide to ads.txt and CBA

By | Banner - Publishers, main blog, Uncategorized

Programmatic advertising has grown at an astonishing rate over the past few years, enabling advertisers to reach their desired audience, efficiently and at scale. The desire for reach has led to many collaborations between publishers, exchanges and AdTech partners, but it’s also made the online advertising ecosystem incredibly complicated and at risk from fraud as more and more parts are added to the chain. The answer? Authorised Digital Sellers, otherwise known as Ads.txt

So, what is ads.txt?

Introduced by the IAB in 2017, ads.txt has been well received by publishers in the UK with an adoption rate of 83% among top 1,000 domains (Jan 2018). It’s essentially a text file, approved by the IAB, which enables publishers to prevent unauthorised sales of their online inventory by listing all the companies that they do allow to sell it. The publisher adds a simple text file on their web server containing all the companies they’ve authorised to sell their inventory.

How do buyers check?

Ads.txt protects programmatic buyers from spending budgets on counterfeit inventory. It’s pretty simple to ensure you’re buying the genuine thing. Simply add /ads.txt to a website to ensure that you are buying from authorised digital sellers of a particular domain. For more on how to add or check ads.txt visit www.iabtechlab.com/how-to-ads-txt

Other industry Initiatives 

Partly in reaction to the rise of ad blocking, the industry has come together to form The Collation For Better Ads. It’s aim is to improve online advertising for consumers in order to secure revenue streams which fund free content and valuable journalism. Our non-interruptive native formats conform to CBA guidelines. You can find out more at www.betterads.org

 

 

 

 

Decline in programmatic while mobile and native make big gains

By | Ad Spend

Programmatic ad buying fell by 12% in the first three months of 2017, versus the same time last year, new data from MediaRadar shows.

The numbers gathered from looking at advertising spending and buying patterns showed 39,415 advertisers bought ads programmatically in the first quarter, which compares to 45,008 in the same three months in 2016.

A lack of faith in programmatic buying has grown, thanks to concerns over fraud, brand safety and a lack of transparency in how ad prices are decided. This means companies and agencies are taking on more direct advertising, such as sponsored editorial or buying brand-safe PMPs (private marketplaces).

Advertisers worry about having little control of their ads

The main concern is that companies have less control over exactly where their ads appear when they are placed programmatically. Instead, a software-led process automates buying, placement, and optimisation via a bidding system.

Todd Krizelman, the CEO of MediaRadar, explained the decline was likely due to problems for companies like YouTube, but that the form of advertising was continually evolving. He expects to see new growth in programmatic buying, but a shift towards programmatic direct models.

Mobile and native formats saw the greatest growth overall

MediaRadar also found that high-CPM ads in mobile and native environments made the biggest gains. Native buyers were up 74% from 2016 to 2017. This is part of a bigger trend which has seen native almost triple since 2015. There were just 981 buyers in 2015, now there are 2,882.

This is because native has a click-through rate of up to four times more than non-native on mobile. People are also more likely engage with native content, as it is non-disruptive.

Overall, the top five sectors seeing success in buying native advertising were media and entertaining, professional services, financial and real estate, technology, and wholesale. The top five ad placers in the US for native were Secco Squared, Potential Investments, Answers Corp., NextAdvisor and JPMorgan Chase and the United States of America.

Video and specialist print ads also proved resilient

Video ads were also making money in the first quarter. Comcast, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Toyota, and Verizon all put cash into ads with video. On mobile, Brown-Forman, Time Warner, Anheuser-Busch, Simplisafe, and Liberty Interactive had the highest number of placements.

Traditional media forms continued to decline. Print ad pages fell by 8% against last year after a 6% decrease in spending, but regional titles and specialist publications were still successful.

These conclusions were drawn from a study of 266,324 advertisers and considered their use of digital, native, mobile, video, email and print advertising.

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programmatic

Has programmatic become problematic?

By | Brand Safety, Content Marketing, Marketing, Native advertising

The rise of programmatic advertising has been nothing short of spectacular, with the IAB predicting that programmatic will account for 80-90% of display ad sales by 2019.

Its rapid growth is unsurprising given the problems it has solved, namely audience targeting and unsold inventory. By introducing real-time bidding (RTB) on every ad impression, advertisers can bid for the eyeballs of each individual user based on their browsing history and other data sources. Want to reach a 47 year old female, earning a fair whack who likes sports cars? No problem…

Brand safety becomes the hot topic

Except there was a problem. In March, The Times ran the headline: Big brands fund terror through online adverts. Their investigation focused on sites including YouTube where programmatic ads for major global brands were found to be alongside extremist content.

The fallout grew greater each day as more and more media agencies pulled their ads from Google’s ad exchange. As we noted on this blog when ads were pulled from alleged ‘fake news’ sites:

“Finding audience at the expense of losing control of the environment, suddenly doesn’t seem quite as smart.”

But it’s not just user-generated content sites like YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram that represent a potential danger for brands. There’s also been an exodus from editorial sites like Breitbart – the controversial Alt-right news organisation – and copyright-infringing sites such as those streaming live sport without owning the rights. Ads have also been found on pornographic sites.

I don’t suppose brand safety concerns were top of the agenda for most programmatic buyers; performance by way of finding the target audience trumped everything, but one thing’s for sure – it’s now their number one priority.

Good news for traditional publishers? 

Ironically, one of the campaigns which first sparked this controversy was for a publisher. The Guardian pulled ads for its membership scheme from Google’s Adx ad exchange when they were discovered next to extremist content.

Ironic, because it’s traditional publishers which stand to benefit the most from the fallout. News UK’s chief executive, Robert Thompson didn’t hold back with his take on the tech giant:

“It is risible, no, beyond risible, that Google/YouTube, which has earned, literally, hundreds of billions of dollars from other peoples’ content, should now be lamenting that it can’t possibly be held responsible for monitoring that content – monetizing yes, monitoring no.” Press Gazette

1XL, which represents local newspaper publisher’s Johnston Press, Newsquest, Archant and DC Thompson issued a statement suggesting that agencies place ads with them rather than:

“blind programmatic ad buying which is placing household brands next to extremist content and fake news”.

What next for advertisers?

Over the past few weeks I’ve had many calls and emails from media agencies asking us to confirm where their client’s ads are running.

As we operate our own network with direct publisher integration, I can easily list every site down to individual sections and placements – in short, we can offer complete transparency and brand safety. I suspect others in the digital space have probably not had such an easy ride.

What many advertisers don’t realise is quite how many exchanges their ads are passing through before being spat out at the other end. Knowing where your ad is being served when bids and ad calls are being made in a fraction of a second on millions of websites is nigh on impossible.

So perhaps it’s time to take another look at the walled garden traditional publishers can offer, after all, could it be that the environment your ad is served in is as important as the targeting?

Essential for native

Thus far, the programmatic problem has only affected display advertising, but

with some display being tweaked to look more like native, it seems obvious that native advertising should be leading by example. After all, when sites are associated with your content, they should be completely brand safe.

As a final thought, I’ll leave you with three things I’d be asking any native provider:

  1. Can you provide me with a full site list?
  2. Can I blacklist any sites I don’t consider right for the brand?
  3. Can you pause campaigns down to individual placements by next impression?

If they can’t answer all three, I’d be looking elsewhere.

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