Time Inc. Data Experiments; Ad Block On Deck

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Time For Data

Faced with a projected 3-6% dip in revenue this year, Time Inc. is bulking up on its data practices, The Wall Street Journal reports. Specifically, it wants to find ways to use big data practices to provide better ad targeting and to find high-growth, underserved markets. Time is also in an experimental phase with its content and considering leveraging ecommerce; it recently built out a site called The Snug to court millennial audiences. The article mentions this initiative could pave the way for native advertising, but considering that IKEA is a founding sponsor of The Snug, it’s safe to say Time is already doing that. The publisher’s CTO, Colin Bodell, an Amazon vet, is leading the charge. “We’ve only been scratching the surface of the utility of the data,” said Bodell. Time seems to be playing catch-up. Certainly the ideas are sound, but its real test will be its execution. More.

Blocked Up

If viewability and fraud are in the ad industry’s spotlight, it looks like ad blocking is waiting in the wings. At least, that’s what the IAB’s Mike Zaneis told Ad Age. While it seems the collective ad industry is about to have a mild freak-out about ad blockers, it’s with reason: "The blockers themselves have changed their practices," Zaneis said. "Companies that had been whitelisted for years and haven't changed their business practices one iota are suddenly being threatened with being blocked." And surpassing an ad blocker is increasingly a pay-for-play deal. The current situation is that some ad companies – notably Amazon, Google and Microsoft – have doled out dollars to Adblock Plus to get through its wall. More here.

Meredith Gets Krafty

Following an exec shuffle that has CMO Deanie Elsner heading for the exit, Kraft and Meredith have struck a deal to launch in-email native ads. Meredith sends a hefty 450 million emails monthly, which up until now have only included banner ads. Kraft – which according to associate director Dana Shank has “over 96% household penetration” – seems like a good first partner to trial the ad offering. “We have seen our own content have much better engagement than ads, which are already high, and we were thinking about the value of content, especially in email, and thinking about ways to extend that with other publications,” Shank said. CRM ad-targeting firm LiveIntent will power the spots. Read on at Marketing Land.

Spotlight On Social

Data from Neustar’s January media intelligence report suggests that social ad buys constitute 30% of all exchanged-based traffic. But findings also show that reaching target audiences through social channels became 10% more expensive in 2014’s fourth quarter. Video made up about 8% of digital ad spend last quarter and drove the majority of branded content across all channels. Unlike social, video placements predominantly went through publishers and portals, not exchanges. “These results are consistent with the prevalent view that programmatic video inventory is still very scarce,” reads the report. Read on at MediaPost.

Cybersecurity Legislation

President Obama signed an advisory executive order on Friday urging companies to make cybersecurity-threat intel available to the government. But privacy groups and tech giants like Google, Apple, Facebook and Yahoo are opposed to the order without an overhaul of the NSA’s surveillance program. “I think it’s fair to say that changes on the technology front have outpaced governmental and legislative efforts,” said Andrew Crocker, a legal fellow at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. More via the Washington Post. Meanwhile, speaking at the White House summit on cybersecurity on Friday, Apple chief Tim Cook revealed that beginning in September, the US federal government will accept Apple Pay for government transactions. Re/code has more.

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