Platforms Are Behind On Accreditation; Mobile Web Browsers Strike Gold In Emerging Markets

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Racing The Clock

Platforms are apparently behind schedule to answer Marc Pritchard’s rallying call for third-party measurement accreditation by the year’s end. Among all major players, including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest and Snap, only Google has begun MRC audits. Audits take about three months to complete, but the MRC needs an unspecified amount of time afterward to grant accreditation depending on what the audit reveals. Given the size and scope of these platforms and their disaffinity for third-party tags, audits could take longer than Pritchard and his peers say they’re willing to wait. “You would hope these large digital enterprises would be buttoned up," said MRC CEO Georgie Ivie, "but I'm not assuming everything is going to go smoothly." Ad Age has more.

Browsers Win

A thirst for low-cost data in emerging markets has created a mini-boom for mobile web browsers. These browsers – including Opera Mini, Alibaba’s UC Browser and Jana – are well-positioned to be the real gatekeepers for new internet users, argues WSJ columnist Christopher Mims. For marketers, such lean browsers represent a data-impoverished environment – ad blocking is often robust and built-in. Mims writes, “For the foreseeable future, Opera, UC Browser and Jana are all betting that the ranks of these ‘next billion’ people coming onto the internet will continue to refresh themselves – and experience constraints that mobile browsers are uniquely capable of alleviating.” More.

Border Patrol

Chinese businesses spent $225 billion on overseas acquisitions in 2016, but don’t expect that to continue this year after China’s commerce minister, Zhong Shan, sharply reined in the “blind and irrational investment,” reports The New York Times. The private sector has also questioned some of the deals forged by Chinese investors with more money than acumen. “Are these guys in over their heads?” said Brock Silvers, an investment banker in Shanghai. “The answer to me is, in some cases, they seem to be.” More. The belt tightening could mean an end to private equity buyouts originating from the country, which became almost commonplace in 2016.

Discoveries

Digital platforms want TV’s reach, and Snap is no exception. “Snapchat wants to be TV and entertainment, and they want stuff that people want to watch so they can place a lot more ads inside Discover,” one anonymous executive tells Digiday. Since last summer, Snap has been producing original short-form content for networks like E! News and BBC, and is expanding its publisher roster. (Its $500 million investment from NBCU might help with that.) Snap is also reshaping its ad model away from a media rev-share to selling ads against content acquired through licensing payments (thus keeping all the ad revenue for itself). “A third party is writing me a seven-figure check to create content for their platform and it’s guaranteed for an entire year – so yes, I’m jumping up and down,” said one anonymous publisher exec. More.

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