Header Bidding Could Lead Programmatic Direct; NBC Strikes Gold With Olympics Ad Sales

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Accuen CEO Megan Pagliuca predicts that as the industry moves toward direct programmatic buys, header bidding will lead the way. Ad networks provided mass reach that made programmatic easy to scale, but obfuscated the supply chain and pegged programmatic as a line item rather than a part of the overall media plan. “Header bidding facilitates [direct buys] in a way that we weren’t able to do before,” Pagluica says in a Beet.tv interview. “Being able to have first look to premium inventory without actually having a passback.” More.

Going For Gold

When it broadcast the London Olympics in 2012, NBC achieved $1 billion in ad sales two days before the opening ceremonies. For the Rio Olympics this year, the network has already hit that milestone four months ahead of the games and is “on pace for the most national ad sales for any network for any media event in US history.” NBC Sports. The Olympics’ 17-day duration generates heaps of inventory across a wide spectrum of consumers, and one has to wonder about the audience targeting opportunity. What segmenting will NBC enable via digital and dayparting? What about VOD? Think of the possibilities.

Plug The Leaks

Publishers that have long given special treatment to some platform audiences are rethinking those decisions as the distributed content model matures. The Wall Street Journal started posting to Snapchat, making it free and easy to come back to its site, even while it partially closed its Google search paywall loophole. Now The New York Times is plugging the Twitter- and Facebook-shaped holes in its paywall by limiting free articles for social media readers. Fifty percent of its Twitter/Facebook audiences read more than 10 articles per month, and the news giant would like to see those people turn into true NYT readers, not social media snacks. More at Re/code.

A New Revival

After buying the rights to all 10 seasons of the iconic ’90s sitcom “Friends,” Netflix teamed up with Ogilvy Paris to launch the first responsive pre-roll ad campaign of its kind on YouTube. The agency tagged thousands of top YouTube searches and matched them with relevant scenes from the show. The campaign helped make “Friends,” which ended more than a decade ago, the most popular TV show in Paris … 12 years later. Watch the case study.

Shrinking The News

2015 brought more newspaper M&A than any year since 2008, with 70 dailies being sold for a combined $827 million, according to advisory firm Dirks, Van Essen & Murray. Among the big buyers were Gannett, Tribune and Warren Buffett’s newspaper chain, BH Media Group. “The case for consolidation has gotten stronger than ever,” Poynter Institute analyst Rick Edmonds tells Bloomberg. “It is one of the ways that newspapers are repositioning themselves against the digital competition.” More.

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