Facebook Offers Video For App Ads; Yandex Completes ADFOX Integration

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Game On

In a Tuesday blog post, Facebook debuted new video functionality for app ads as it aims to drive more desktop game signups. “It’s eligible to play automatically in News Feed, there is a persistent call-to-action (CTA) over the video pop-up for ads … and all videos now have an end card that appears after they finish with options to replay it or install the game,” explained  Robby Banks, principal of monetization at Facebook. Game publisher Plamee is an early user of Facebook’s latest feature, and Michael Velkes, VP of marketing, is impressed. "The desktop app ad unit is the best converting non-incentive ad unit available in the industry,” he said.

In Russia, R-TBD

Yandex has completed the integration of ADFOX’s tech, which it acquired in September, into its ad network. The move further opens the Russian digital advertising market to RTB, which has lagged in comparison to global adoption. For Russian Internet companies like Yandex, a search engine, strict regulations regarding what’s displayed have hamstrung the adoption of advertising technology. But Yandex sees a silver lining. “According to first results, ADFOX’s partners … can now increase their revenue by up to 50% [since] its integration with YAN and RTB,” Vladimir Isaev, Yandex’s manager of international media relations, told Adexchanger in an email. Yandex also reported its quarterly earnings on Tuesday, hitting investors’ expectations.

Fashion Is In Style

Refinery29 announced $50 million funding from WPP and Scripps Networks Interactive on Tuesday at a $300 million valuation, bringing the fashion and lifestyle publication’s total funding to $80 million. “We are focused on vastly expanding our media and entertainment brand, creating smart, provocative editorial, video, and social content at the intersection of style, culture, and independence,” said Refinery29 co-CEO Philippe von Borries in a statement. The investment comes after rumors of a high-valuation sale of PopSugar, as well as Conde Nast’s decision to turn Style.com, digital home of Vogue, into an ecommerce site. Fashionable women, it appears, have growing cachet in media and advertising. Read more at the WSJ.

Greasing The Skids

PayPal debuted One Touch payment product for desktop and mobile websites on Tuesday, following up on last year’s launch of the same product for mobile apps. The technology isn’t new (Amazon offers a similar “1-Click” product), but Re/code reports that the release “allows PayPal to beat Apple Pay in the transition from mobile apps to websites.” The product also marks a shift in mobile web publishers trying to regain market share from apps, who have dominated the platform (Google’s algo update nudges that along). And even for desktop browsing, PayPal hopes online retailers can up their conversion rates by removing the moment of friction when a user has to enter his or her payment details.

Digital Video Is Hopping Paywalls

As news organizations like The Wall Street Journal and New York Times invest more resources in digital video, it’s changing the way they design their websites and manage their paywalls. The WSJ, which gates non-subscribers, is making video free for all visitors. Digiday reporter Lucia Moses points out that “publishers like the Journal (estimated to charge CPMs in the range of $50 to $75) are incentivized to get as many views as possible.” As part of a redesign last week, the WSJ also changed its home page and search algorithms to surface more videos. WSJ senior executive producer Andy Regal affirms, “When it’s on your platform, you keep 100 percent of the revenue.” Read on.

Give A Brand A Cookie...

In the wake of the FCC’s ruling on net neutrality, which redefined how consumer data can be collected and used, mobile carriers are in a state of flux. Verizon took a beating in January for its perma-cookie, which enabled advertisers and third parties to track users who cleared cookies or even opted out of the program, but the issue of inadequate audience data is a problem that still plagues mobile. According to Ad Age, “Mobile is a medium that provides access for a fee, much like cable or magazines. Carriers should take advantage of that opportunity, do it right and become … the guardians of sensitive subscriber data.” Or, carriers can take a page out of Facebook and Google’s playbooks, and offer the chance to match brands’ data with their audience data.

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