Google parent Alphabet finished out Q2 2016 with $21.5 billion in overall revenue, a 21% jump from Q2 2015. It's also a notable acceleration of growth rate from that year-ago quarter, when top line revenue grew 11%. [Read the earnings release.] The company chalked up the faster growth to investments in mobile and video.
“The strength of the quarter is about mobile,” said Google CEO Sundar Pichai on the earnings call. “Our investment in mobile underlines everything we do,” he said, pointing out that while outsiders view search, Android and machine learning as separate investments, Google views them all as mobile investments.
The quarterly results beat analyst expectations, though many of the structural issues investors noted in Google’s Q1 2016 earnings continued to grow as well.
For instance, traffic acquisition costs (TAC), the amount Google must pay to affiliate networks and media networks to direct users to Google’s properties or to use Google search as a default service, rose $200 million year over year. That rise eats away at Google’s profit.
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“Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Kobi Edelstein, vice president of advertising at Appnext.
Advertising across any medium is always fluid and ever a delicate mix.
Nowhere is this truer than in the mobile app space. Paid user acquisition is necessary and can be highly effective but the path to a good acquisition strategy can be fraught with challenges – and misinformation. As such, transparency might be the single most important factor when analyzing and designing a user acquisition budget.
But traffic blending can also hold back acquisition strategies, as well as bots and organic install hijackers. Something as simple as testing is critical to ensure that all of these user acquisition efforts are paying off.
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"On TV And Video" is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in programmatic TV and video.
Today’s column is written by Jeff Minsky, senior vice president of agency and client development at Unruly.
It’s rarer to find multiple tech sectors applauding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for any action it takes than it is to find an Alakazam and Scyther within a two-block radius while playing Pokémon GO.
But that’s just what happened 2 weeks ago when the FCC opened up a significant new spectrum for the next evolution of wireless data communication, 5G. Telcos and cable operators alike praised the move, which opens up 11 gigahertz of spectrum above the 24GHz band.
Why is 5G so significant? In the US and in many parts of the world, users connect to the internet at speeds meeting the barest definition of broadband. Yet, we are on the precipice of an incredible bandwidth leap, which carries significant implications for digital video advertising.
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Rubicon Project is joining up with “kid-safe” marketing platform SuperAwesome to power the first programmatic exchange reaching children under 13, Lara O’Reilly of Business Insider reports. The “REX” platform won’t use behavioral data in compliance with the FTC’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. "Programmatic in the conventional sense is not possible in the under-13 space,” said Joshua Wohle, SuperAwesome's CPO. “With REX, we're enabling buyers to specifically target this audience based on the contextual first-party data we have associated with all of the publishers which run our AwesomeAds technology." Launched in 2013, the UK-based platform reaches over 250 million children monthly and works with Nintendo, Lego and Warner Bros.
Twitter Losing Altitude
The narrative around Twitter’s Q2 earnings on Tuesday was pretty much the same old story: less-than-robust audience growth. But its ROI potential isn’t looking too hot, either. TheStreet’s Jim Cramer is not one to mince words: “Twitter’s problem is they haven’t figured out how to monetize it.” It’s a sentiment that’s starting to echo. In a research note, BMO Capital Markets analyst Dan Salmon called for “increased caution” around Twitter based on fact that “active advertiser count is no longer expected to grow,” which creates an inherent problem for revenue tethered to spending per advertiser. Until now, Twitter has been able to prop itself up through revenue growth despite its MAU problem. If that changes, investors are going to get antsy, regardless of what Twitter cooks up around live streaming.
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” has struggled lately, but it saw a sizable digital boost (and modest broadcast boost) after going all-in on Facebook Live during the Republican and Democratic conventions. The stunt boosted CBS site and app traffic, but the big winner was Facebook – the show added 80,000 new fans to its Facebook page and saw millions of additional video views (which will fuel Facebook spending and production from CBS). It’s important to “experiment and adopt new things when they’re made available to us by Facebook and other social platforms,” said Jeff Grossman, CBS Interactive’s SVP of content strategy. More at Digiday.
Rough And Tumblr
Now we all know why Verizon bought Yahoo. “Tumblr this week quietly announced plans to roll out a new advertising program across its site which will see it implementing ads across users’ blogs,” writes Sarah Perez at TechCrunch. The plan is to expand Tumblr’s Creatr program, which connects users with brands (by, say, curating content from select accounts to use in an ad campaign). The big change is that advertising on the platform will be the new default. Users will have to actively disable ads to their pages. More.
But Wait, There’s More!