IAB Sees Spend Increasing In 2012; Sharethrough's Native Funds

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IAB: Another Historic Rise

The first half of 2012 presented yet another record-breaking period for online ad spending, says the Interactive Advertising Bureau, as marketers lavished $17 billion on the web between January and the end of June. Things looked pretty good during Q2 as well, as spending rose 14 percent. The key drivers, as they have been for the past few years, has been video and mobile. Read the release. Separately, Wall Street analyst Brian Wieser was contrarian: “New data from the IAB confirms - contrary to the industry's underlying narrative - broad weakness for publishers across the Internet advertising industry in the United States.”

Native Ad Cash

“Native video ad” platform Sharethrough announced a new $5 million round of funding. Read the release. Tim Peterson covers the news on Adweek and talks to the company’s CEO: ”While native advertising isn’t an easy sell to media buyers who typically prefer traditional buying methods, the online video advertising startup has grown its revenue 87 percent year over year, and [CEO Dan] Greenberg expects Sharethrough to pull in $40 million in revenue next year.”  Read more.

YouTube’s Gangnam Style

Since this summer, unlikely Korean pop star Psy’s infectious video for his song “Gangnam Style” has dominated YouTube. BTIG Analyst Rich Greenfield looks at the numbers of views the video has garnered and compares it to a hit network TV show. Furthermore, the virality of the video appears to have opened up the Google-owned video site to new advertiser categories. “Beyond A-List advertising, we also saw something we had never seen on YouTube before (unclear how new/not new this is), but we saw a pre-roll video ad for a local furniture store, screenshot embedded to the right (Gramercy Vintage Furniture),” Greenfield writes. “We suspect locally targeted ads have a very significant CPM.”Read more subscription.

Facebook’s Custom Ads

Techcrunch’s Josh Constine has taken a look at the results of Facebook’s three-week-old Custom Audience Ads and so far, the results appear pretty positive. The ads, which targets consumers via lists of emails or phone numbers, are “not as amazing as Facebook Exchange retargeted ads, but they boost clicks and conversions, reduce costs, and deliver ROI according to Facebook and three adtech startups,” Constine writes. Read more.

Display The Brand

In an opinion piece on Digiday, Criteo’s Jonathan Wolf looks at demand generation with display. He writes, “...a lot of branding display dollars online are really performance dollars pretending to be something else. Since advertisers have not been able to replicate the branding impact of TV ads, they have inevitably switched to focus on performance — an area where online reigns supreme. Unfortunately, this has been challenging for traditional display, since its performance is so much weaker than demand-fulfillment channels like search.” He thinks this is beginning to change. Read more.

RTB Audience

On MediaPost, Operative CEO Mike Leo talks programmatic selling ands says a recent publisher survey by his company shows publishers are none too pleased with real-time bidding (RTB).  He writes, “Almost across the board, publishers told us that RTB was a place to park inferior inventory. ‘On sites with strong brands and great content, context trumps audience,’ one VP told us. ‘On crap sites,’ he continued, ‘What else do you have but audience to try and raise CPM?’” Read more.

Yahoo’s Possible Plans

Yahoo CEO and new mom Marissa Mayer called an "all hands" meeting for Thursday and AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher has a lot of guesses about what she may have been discussing. Among the many possibilities is the likelihood of some big acquisitions. Yahoo has apparently considered buying Criteo (home to Yahoo ad sales head Greg Coleman), Mediaocean (which is headed by former Right Media head Bill Wise) and Turn. "But my money would be on PubMatic, if there is an acquisition," Swisher says. “The Silicon Valley company would be a solid add to Yahoo’s ad platform offerings, especially if it wants to stay competitive with Google.” Read more.

Big Gov Looks At Big Data

Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W. Va.) is investigating nine information brokers to understand whether the “unprecedented amount” of personal, medical and financial information about people could be collected, mined and sold – and what the impact would be on consumers, the NYT’s Natasha Singer reports. Read it. Linda Woolley, the acting head of the Direct Marketing Association, has her own concerns about the senate investigation.  “I hope Senator Rockefeller understands what he’s tampering with,” she said.

Programmatic China

GroupM’s Xaxis announced the launch of its audience buying platform in China yesterday.  From the release, some logistics: HQ will be in Shanghai and Beijing and  “The China division will be led by Rajesh Sukhwani who will serve as managing director, Xaxis China. Sukhwani was previously director, global business development for Xaxis.”  There’s programmatic business developing in China. Read the release.

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