Diversifying Programmatic; Google Offering Up Emails For Targeting

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Splashy Programmatic

Programmatic is slowly seeping into other digital formats, Ad Age reports. Automation is already a mainstay for display ads, but splashier units like homepage takeovers and pushdowns are attracting ad dollars. Undertone, the ad network behind these alternative units (currently running on sites owned by Gannett, American Media, USA Today Sports, Accuweather and Bonnier Corporation, to name a few), is moving the first iteration of these formats through programmatic direct deals, which will run across Undertone’s full network of publishers. But there’s a catch: Brands can’t select individual publishers for the placements.

Google To Link Ads And Email

The WSJ reports that Google is in talks to hand off consumer email addresses to marketers for targeted advertising. If that rings a bell, it’s because Facebook did the same thing in 2012 for its CRM matching program Custom Audiences. According to two people familiar with the negotiations, Google could unleash the new ad product later this year or in early 2016. The ads would initially be limited to search results and wouldn’t apply to digital display spots. The Journal’s Rolfe Winkler and Jack Marshall explain that this could help marketers reach consumers when they’re actually shopping. “The data could also help both Google and advertisers better understand the relationship between online ads and consumers’ real-world activities and purchases,” they write.

Buying Into Email

Apparently, email’s on everyone’s hit list. On Wednesday, Israeli digital marketing firm Matomy took a 70% stake in Canadian email marketing provider Avenlo. The deal, which transacted for an undisclosed sum, follows Matomy’s MobFox acquisition in October. With MobFox, Matomy got a mobile programmatic platform, and with Avenlo, it aims to bolster its data-driven email and targeting capabilities. "Data is a crucial element in performance-based advertising, and the data capabilities that Avenlo provides will assist Matomy across all of our media channels,” said Matomy CEO Ofer Druker. If Matomy decides to purchase the remaining 30% of the company, it has the next three years to do so. The Drum has more.

Yahoo And Foursquare: Will They Or Won’t They?

Sources tell TechCrunch that Yahoo is in talks to buy Foursquare, though Re/code’s sources were quick to debunk the rumor. TechCrunch slapped a $900 million price tag on the alleged acquisition, pointing out that the buy would strengthen Yahoo’s search efforts and boost its mobile portfolio of apps and location data. An anonymous source tells TechCrunch that the “deal is done,” but Re/code’s anonymous sources said the rumor isn’t true. The chatter follows this week’s launch of Foursquare's Pinpont, a location-based ad network.

Mobile Native Rising

Marketers are pouring a larger portion of their ad budgets into mobile native ads, according to eMarketer, and they’re seeing high engagement rates in return. InMobi polled marketers around the globe and, though mobile native ad usage remained relatively low, 57% of respondents said they had plans to tap into the format, and a majority of marketers said they’d increase their mobile native ad budgets by 25% or more by 2017. Research from Polar in October 2014 also suggests that click-through rates for native ads are higher on mobile in the US and the UK than on desktop (0.27% on mobile devices vs. 0.15% on desktop).

Advertisers Kick Tires For Twitch

Twitch, Amazon’s live-streaming video platform, is courting a broader set of advertisers and premium publishers, among those P&G and Discovery Digital Networks. But it might not be an easy sell for all advertisers. “Most brands will tell you this demographic is very slippery and hard to keep,” said Imari Oliver, VP at Omnicom agency Sparks & Honey, though he added that Twitch “is hitting a lot of sweet spots for brands.” Twitch will need to demonstrate ROI and audience retention if it hopes to reel in more ad spend. Digiday has more.

Mobile Programmatic Partners

Are more brand dollars on their merry mobile way? AudienceScience – P&G's programmatic buying platform of choice – announced Thursday that it'll be partnering with Millennial Media to give its advertisers access to mobile inventory on the Millennial Media Exchange. According to recent research from MoPub, there was a 52% uptick in exchange-based mobile programmatic advertising spend at the end of 2014, largely driven by big brands. “We're working to make programmatic buying – and mobile advertising – simple for our partners,” Mark Connon, EVP of platform business at Millennial Media, told AdExchanger. Read on.

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