International DSP Revenue; Auto-Play Delay

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International DSP Revenue

Due to regulatory requirements, publicly traded Safeguard Scientifics shares a few tidbits on the state of its investments on a quarterly basis -- this includes its investment in US creative ad-tech firm Spongecell and ad platform MediaMath. Beyond trumpeting the payday potential signaled by Rocket Fuel’s IPO, Safeguard CEO Steve Zarrilli offered this about MediaMath during his company’s earnings call last week: “From a network of 12 locations worldwide, MediaMath serves more than 3,500 clients and many of the top ad agencies. International operations are now responsible for approximately 35% of MediaMath’s annual revenue. Safeguard has deployed $18.5 million of capital in MediaMath since July 2009 and has a 23% primary ownership position.” Read more on Seeking Alpha (subscription). And read the press release.

Auto-Play Delay

AllThingsD’s Jason Del Rey says Facebook’s plans to launch auto-play video ads are being delayed until 2014. He explains, “Facebook recognizes the risk of upsetting its user base with the ads, which are expected to play automatically (though audio will have to be turned on by the viewer), so it wants more time to evaluate how its users have interacted with similar noncommercial videos that it started to allow on its platform earlier this year.” Read more.

Right Time, Wrong Message

Real-time marketing (RTM) may be becoming a requirement for brands, reasons Andrew Frank, research VP at Gartner, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t huge risks. Within recent big news moments, there is a growing list of RTM efforts gone wrong -- think American Apparel’s “Sandy Sale” after the hurricane. Frank writes, “If you’re not part of the conversation, you’re not part of the community, so abstain at your peril. ...Unfortunately, because success gives the illusion of true spontaneity, it’s become something that’s both easy and tempting to imitate badly.” Read more.

Trading Media

Real-time bidding (RTB) draws many comparisons to the automated stock exchange. To that end, former Wall Street senior technologist Ted Yang and former Kantar CEO Bill Lederer are creating a new programmatic-focused advertising company called MediaCrossing. Read the release. The boilerplate in the release hints at what the company believes is its differentiation: “Unlike other marketplace players, MediaCrossing may take principal positions on behalf of publishers, marketers and their agencies, thus assuming the risk of unsold inventory for the benefit of its partners.”

Discount Mapping

In the commerce war, Google is slowly encroaching on Amazon territory and this time it's through integrating Google Offers with Maps, according to Wired’s Marcus Wohlsen. Advertisers can now tag their stores with offers when a user is looking at a map, encouraging them to shop locally rather than going online to Amazon. Also, Google is offering same-day delivery in the San Francisco area, and if that offer is expanded to other cities it could be a matter of time before Amazon and Google compete directly for online commerce. Read more.

Telecom Progeny Goes Native

Pinsight Media+, a Sprint-owned media company, is taking a stab at native advertising in a deal with mobile ad network Millennial Media. Pinsight Media+, which offers mobile ad targeting and app development, will display apps from Millennial Media’s advertiser base as ad units that will appear on Sprint Android devices. “Consumers are always looking for their next favorite app, and we created these new products to blend advertising with utility,” said Evan Conway, strategy and monetization VP at Pinsight Media+, in a statement. “The Millennial Media platform allows us to immediately scale these new units, and present consumers with relevant apps...” Read the release.

Cutting Out The Middlemen

Facebook’s decision to offer its custom audiences tool outside of FBX could squeeze out some third-party buyers, according to Digiday’s Jack Marshall. The fact that mobile inventory is only available through Facebook’s API and not through FBX is another sign that the company prefers marketers come directly to it. “They’re trying to scale their mobile native ad dominance,” said Ross Sheingold, chief strategy officer at social media agency Laundry Service. “FBX isn’t available on mobile, and shouldn’t ever be. It isn’t dynamic or creative enough.” Read more.

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