Google AMP Improves Page Loads, Not Ad Loads; FTC Reminder On Cross-Device Opt-Outs

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Working On It

Publishers on Google AMP are pleased with faster page loads, but their ads are lagging behind.  Google pre-loads cached content, storing it temporarily and serving the ads through DoubleClick. If Google started pre-caching ads the way it does for articles, it could completely throw off the way the platform registers viewability. “If an advertiser is paying just to be pre-cached, forget being viewed; the content may not even be consumed. It’s like buying a TV ad on a channel that doesn’t exist,” said Nick Illobre, head of programmatic at Merkle. Publishers are experiencing faster ad loads on Facebook Instant Articles, which hosts ads and content on its own servers. More.  

Cover Your Tracks

Jessica Rich, the FTC’s director for the Bureau of Consumer Protection, has once again stressed the need for the ad industry to let users opt out across devices. “The disclosures and choices companies offer to people must address the many forms of tracking companies are using, including proprietary techniques that combine technologies like cookies, fingerprinting, cookie syncing and many others,” Rich wrote in a post on the FTC site, summarizing points she made at a National Advertising Initiative event in mid-April. As tracking tech evolves beyond cookies, notice and choice need to keep up with the times. Pair with AdExchanger’s previous coverage on the tar baby that is cross-device opt-out.

Long-Tail Blues

“The things that kill performance on a site aren't even the malicious ads. They are the broken ones,” said Aram Zucker-Scharff, a full-stack developer at Salon Media Group, in a Q&A with Poynter. Huge publishers can fill their own inventory directly or spend more on tech infrastructure, so it’s easy to forget the huge swath of media companies that essentially outsource ad sales and tech to networks, and which have been buried by predatory middlemen, crappy ads and overweight pixels and tags. “When they started this process, it was a straightforward idea. You sell white space to a company like Google and they auction it off to the highest bidder.” More.

OTT Wrestlemania

Comcast responded to the FCC’s set-top-box proposal by joining up with Roku to make its full TV lineup available on its XFinity TV app. The FCC proposal intends to make content more accessible to consumers by lowering cable prices and offering better Internet access, but Comcast argues that the policy could upset its business and expose data to companies like Google. “Apps, not federal box mandates, are the fastest and most effective way to expand consumers’ options for video devices,” said a spokesperson from The Future of TV coalition. The XFinity app, however, is only available for Comcast customers and doesn’t offer content outside the network. More.  

Beacon Boom

There are 6.2 million proximity location trackers being sold in retail locations, up from 5 million in Q4 2015, according to a study by Proxbook. The report finds nearly 5 million of these sensors are beacons, mostly Apple’s iBeacon and Google’s Eddystone Technologies, and that 73% of proximity technologies are used for mobile communication. It’s taken a while for beacons to prove out their value, but it’s a technology that requires wide adoption before the utility catches up. "This is the first time we're seeing they are confident enough in their deployments that they want to share their results," said Thomas Walle, CEO and co-founder of Unacast. More On Ad Age.

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