Mobile Ad Revenues Reach $31.9B; Snapchat's Ad Opportunities

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Upwardly Mobile

Global mobile ad revenues hit $31.9 billion in 2014, according to the IAB, IAB Europe and IHS. And mobile display hit an all-time high of $15.1 billion (overtaking search for the first time). “These numbers have been underpinned by the industry coming together to collaborate and create improvements to mobile advertising infrastructure,” said Daniel Knapp, IHS’ director of advertising research. “Technology is now better explained, measurement is improving and targeting is better aligned with other media to help advertisers reach and engage with their audiences.” Read the release.

Snapchat Discover Uncovered

Snapchat’s content hub Discover has averaged 2.5 sponsored posts per day since July 13, according to Ad Age. These ads ran against 110 editorial articles, videos or images. (Recall that Discover features 12 channels from publishers like National Geographic, Vice and Cosmo.) Basically, that’s a ratio of one ad per 44 stories. "The first thing we were going for was the audience and the chance to curate and craft and edit stories in a new and interesting way for that audience on that platform," said Meredith Artley, editor-in-chief of CNN Digital. "Then we'll get the revenue later." If boosting ad sales wasn’t a top priority before, it might be one soon. Read it.

Inside Israel’s Tech Boom

Business Insider reporter Julie Bort takes a close look at the startup scene in Israel and its biggest players. Israel’s tech boom isn’t breaking news, but growing investment from Chinese investors is a recent development. China is the biggest spender in the Israeli market, with investments flooding in from companies like Baidu, Fosun, Alibaba, Tencent, RenRen and others. And Chinese angel investor Li Ka Shing (who owns Horizon Ventures) has also donated $130 million to Technion, the Israeli Institute of Technology. “The Asia stuff is very dramatic, very real and very new," said Israeli VC Jon Medved. As a refresher, billion-dollar Israeli startups include Taboola, IronSource, Outbrain and Conduit. More.

The Omnichannel Publisher Approach

Publishers are working hard to fit apps into their business strategies, the WSJ reports, but are facing extreme competition. The Journal’s Mike Shields details the efforts of Rodale, publisher of Runner’s World magazine. Rodale had released apps before focused on specific promotional campaigns, but last week it debuted its first fitness tracker. All very cool but moving from a one-off app to something with long-term utility means having to step into the ring with the likes of Fitbit, Nike, Apple and MapMyFitness. Talk about a spike in heart rate. Can a media company compete? More.

M Is For Moonshot

Alphabet’s emergence shocked the industry, but reasons behind the switch are coming into focus. According to Google (now a subsidiary of Alphabet), the change was partially about retaining executives and facilitating investment in new fields without affecting its core business. Outside its core ads biz, Re/code reports on the “L” in the alphabet, Life Sciences, a health research group that now has a cell biologist as its CEO. Another Re/code story suggests Google may end up keeping Linus Upson, the engineering VP who built Chrome (alongside Google CEO Sundar Pichai), by investing in a new malaria treatment involving genetically-modified mosquitoes. Google says, “Don’t be evil.” Maybe, in some aspects, it’ll stand for good?

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