Mobile Ad Revenue Lags; A Change In Tides For Agencies

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Mobile Revenues Lag

The consumer migration to mobile is outpacing publishers’ mobile ad revenue, The Wall Street Journal reports. But as publishers struggle to bring sophisticated tracking and targeting tools to mobile, online giants are cleaning up. Facebook, for one, accounted for 37% of total US mobile ad revenue last year, according to eMarketer, in part due to its trove of user data. The New York Times is one publisher navigating the challenge. “[Mobile revenues] are definitely lagging audience. No question,” said NYT CRO Meredith Kopit Levien. Investing in sponsored content is one solution, and partnering with Facebook could be another (though Facebook might have the upper hand). “We want our mobile revenue number to move a lot faster, but it is moving in the right direction,” Levien said. More.

Fighting In The Dark

Agencies are trying to figure out what the new special sauce is as brands continue to express displeasure (privately and publicly, in the form of media reviews) with existing models. Ad Age reporter Alexandra Bruell asks, “Do [brands] want rebundling? Unbundling? A completely new model?” One thing is clear: “We're not going back to a one-stop shop,” says MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan. Even if the old agency model turns out to work best, expect heightened competition in Agency Land. More.

Making Hay

Concerns are mounting that VC and private equity money is running dry for ad and mar tech companies. With the stock market taking a beating (particularly media and technology firms), Re/code’s Carmela DeAmicis interviews a few founders in the space for perspective on funding and tech investment. Some of the tips include refocusing on enterprise clientele (who are themselves more likely to weather a market crash than SMBs), and to take advantage of the down periods to make lower-cost investments in talent and tech. Read on.

Playing With Programmatic

Writing for Nieman Journalism Lab, Joseph Lichterman explores how podcasters are partnering to support programmatic advertising. But it’s early days. “Podcasting is based on very old technologies, and it hasn’t changed for at least 10 years,” said Jason Cox, CEO of Audiometric, a firm that does dynamic ad insertion for podcasts. “When we set out to develop the ad-insertion technology, the rule for us was that it should work through any platform. … To do that, we had to modify the actual audio file at the time it’s requested by the user.” With that pipe dream in mind, others like Midroll Media are looking to subscription services to boost their podcast biz. Read it.  

All Together Now

Writing for Campaign, AOL UK’s managing director, Hamish Nicklin, says the acceleration of ad tech calls for greater collaboration. As an example, Nicklin points to the recent partnership between AOL and Microsoft. “From getting in early on the briefing process to delivering campaigns with creativity, innovation and rich data and insights, collaboration has truly redefined advertising in the digital age,” Nicklin writes. More to the point, Nicklin claims the AOL-Microsoft coupling aims to expand advertiser reach across desktop, mobile and video, as consumption habits on those channels continue to evolve. More.

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