LiveRail Opens Up; EU Troubles Continue For Big Publishers

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LiveRail On The Ecosystem

In a Friday Q&A with Business Insider, LiveRail’s international chief, Yoan Arnstein, opens up about Facebook’s push into native and the recently filed patent that suggests Facebook is working on a content exchange. “Publishers are really excited about the world of consumption and how it's moving to discovery,” he said. “Taboola and Outbrain are getting a lot of traction. But I don’t necessarily think that people are thinking about them first and foremost in terms of monetization. In the realm of LiveRail, we want to focus on how we can best help publishers monetize their inventory.” When asked if Facebook is considering consolidating its ad tech (à la ONE By AOL), Arnstein was vague about LiveRail’s and Atlas’ future. “At this point in time, we are really happy with the current positioning, and we feel it makes sense for what we’re trying to do in the market,” he said.

Europe Vs. Google & Facebook

Facebook and Google are meeting stiff resistance from both European regulators and European consumers, which will slow the growth of digital and social media advertising on the continent. The issue is twofold, as identified by Adweek – more intense regulation and consumer privacy laws means the two companies can’t collect the rich user data they’ve mined in the US and other locales, and “the less data they can accumulate...the less finely tuned – and less valuable – their ads are.” European Internet users are also substantially more likely to deploy ad blocking software, which act as “a shield against Facebook, Twitter or Google's retargeting plans.” The combined effect is a continent rife with landmines for consumer data collectors and advertisers.

Fluid Native Metrics

A recent ANA survey offers a glimpse of the native ad metrics that matter most to marketers. Respondents said brand lift and awareness, click-throughs, social media sharing rates, time spent, purchase intent and lead generation are all key. The ANA’s Bill Duggan tells The Journal’s Jack Marshall, “For all the buzz around native advertising, you don’t hear a lot about measurement and ROI,” he said. “The industry would benefit from a deeper understanding of the metrics that matter most for native.” With or without standardization, eMarketer predictions US native ad spend will swell 34% in 2015 to reach $4.3 billion. More.

What’s Old Is New

Chevy is running a digital video in the printed May issues of Esquire and Popular Mechanics, both of which are published by Hearst. Not all readers will receive a copy with the video, as Hearst mined its internal data to identify “some 10,000 subscribers each to Esquire and Popular Mechanics – those considered likely Colorado buyers – [to receive] a video player embedded inside the print page.” Ad Age reports that Americhip, the company that provides the technology to embed digital video in print, ran a similar campaign for CBS in Entertainment Weekly in 2009. The print-embed strategy will likely continue as an occasional one-off campaign.

Vessel Raises

Online video startup Vessel closed a $57.5 million round led by Institutional Venture Partners, The Guardian reports. Vessel is the brainchild of former Hulu executives Jason Kilar and Richard Tom. It’s early days, but Vessel has already laid the pipework to serve targeted ads on its platform. “We collect some information automatically when you interact with our Services, and we may also keep track of your activity across multiple websites,” reads Vessel’s privacy policy. “We keep track of your interaction with content and advertisements so we can make content recommendations to you and serve you ads for things we think you’re actually interested in.”

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