Lenovo's Adware Problem; Google's Programmatic Video Reality

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Lenovo’s Superfish Fiasco

Security researches uncovered that Lenovo has been selling PCs preinstalled with adware called Superfish, which hijacks encrypted web sessions and puts browsers at risk of man-in-the-middle attacks. Superfish forges certificate information, according to Ars Technica, and was purportedly being used to serve targeted ads. In a statement, Lenovo said it ceased preloading the software in January and will not preload Superfish in the future. “The relationship with Superfish is not financially significant; our goal was to enhance the experience for users,” reads the statement. “We recognize that the software did not meet that goal and have acted quickly and decisively.”

Programmatic Reality Check

Google’s “aspirational” talk about programmatic video has yet to align with the reality of the ecosystem, according to a feature by The Wall Street Journal’s Mike Shields. Though publishers showed interest in Google Partner Select when the Internet giant revealed the offering in January, interest has stalled, according to analysts. “Right now, while there’s a huge amount of interest in programmatic video, getting a significant amount of ad inventory that way is the exception rather than the rule,” said eMarketer analyst Lauren Fischer. “Many publishers tend to hoard their video ad inventory to sell themselves, and some are dragging their feet [when it comes to trying programmatic vehicles]." That said, eMarketer predicts that 40% of digital video ad spend ($3.84 billion) will flow through programmatic channels by 2016.

Digital Video Consolidation Rising

Speaking to LUMAscape architect Terry Kawaja, The Drift’s Doug Weaver asks about rising consolidation in the digital video space. “We’ve seen 29 transactions across the Video LUMAscape just in the last 18 months starting with AOL/Adap.tv,” said Kawaja, pointing out that transactions include content grabs (Disney and Maker, Amazon and Twitch, AT&T and Fullscreen) and monetization plays (Comcast and FreeWheel, Facebook and LiveRail, Yahoo and BrightRoll). “These deals are reflective of the continued growth in digital video but also the coming convergent TV sector,” said Kawaja. He noted Facebook’s “staggering” growth in video, which saw more views than YouTube in October. Read on.

Internet Radio Ad Loads

On Thursday, XAPPmedia surfaced its report that analyzes how four major Internet radio services managed and filed ad inventory during and directly following the 2014 holiday shopping season. (XAPPmedia did not name the services.) On average, Internet radio firms are serving 2.69 minutes of ads per hour, which is less than one-third of hourly ad time listeners get on broadcast radio. “Broadcast radio has attempted to maximize revenue by continually increasing ad loads,” XAPPmedia CMO Bret Kinsella told AdExchanger. “But Internet radio providers are trying to create a specific type of consumer experience. That is going to constrain inventory, which means that for them to grow revenue, they have to focus on increasing ad rates.” Get the report.

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