Advertisers Not Sold On Podcasts Yet; Facebook Has Paid Media Plans For Messenger

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Uncharted Territory

“While the popularity of podcasts is on the rise, many big-name advertisers are still wary about committing,” writes Steven Perlberg at The Wall Street Journal. It’s a strange situation, with just a few publishers dominating listening activity and breakaway hits casting a long shadow across the industry. MailChimp’s patronage of “Serial” may have been the ROI-based ad deal of the past decade, but “the stand-out success of a few podcasts has tended to cannibalize spending,” said ZenithOptimedia head of forecasting Jonathan Barnard. Like mobile, podcasting brings a bucket of measurement problems (Should a download count as a listen? Can you target your audience?). But don’t be surprised when on-demand audio joins the programmatic party. More.

Pay The Messenger

Facebook plans to introduce paid media to its Messenger app this year, TechCrunch reports. The ads it has in mind are reminiscent of retargeting…or CRM. “Facebook isn’t going to let brands send ad messages to just anyone or even people who’ve liked their Pages. Only those who have voluntarily chatted with a business,” writes Josh Constine. Zuckerberg is on record opposing messenger app ads and a spokesperson told TechCrunch it wants to ensure “people do not experience unwanted messages of any type.” Just like with other paid media explorations, Facebook is happy to hack a trail as long as it’s confident users will follow. Will they (all 800 million of them) on Messenger? We’ll see. Read more.

Mediating Installs

The mobile ad platform Tapjoy will join up with three other tech companies – MoPub, AerServ and Fyber – to drive yield for app publishers. Tapjoy’s bread and butter is serving incentivized ads within app games (watch a video, get an extra life). This deal extends that data to publishers that are looking to increase inventory value. Tapjoy says it won’t make money directly off additional sales, but joining up with these platforms will help it increase publisher fill rates. Read on at Marketing Land.

Ask Me Later

In an Ad Age column, Opera Mediaworks VP Nikao Yang claims “Save for Later” ads are an underused mobile strategy. With the option to tag and save an ad for later, busy mobile users can revisit at a time when they’re more likely to convert. Save for Later buttons are currently used the way print coupons were (clip ’em and keep ’em), but there are applications for targeting, data feedback and advertising beyond traditional coupon categories. And as app-to-app connections become easier, we may see Save for Later functions embedded in mobile SDKs. More. Is it the second coming of Ad Keeper?

The Show Must Go On

One day after Yahoo cut 15% of its workforce, CEO Marissa Mayer introduced a series of updates to its Flurry mobile developer suite. The audience at Yahoo’s Mobile Developer Conference in San Francisco applauded when the Flurry app and direct ad-serving feature were introduced; other additions include an improved analytics dashboard and TVos analytics support. Read the blog post.

Hitting A Wall(Mart)

Walmart’s Q4 earnings revealed its ecommerce initiatives have grown, but modestly. On a conference call with investors, commerce and tech honcho Neil Ashe emphasized the advantages of a combined mobile, desktop and brick-and-mortar presence (such as same-day pickup or deal-targeting based on local inventory pressures). Progress is progress, and Fortune reports Walmart grew its online product assortment from 7 million to 10 million items in the final two quarters of 2015. But Walmart’s growth is just keeping up with industry trends, while Amazon pulls farther ahead.

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