Programmatic Candy; Nativo Raises $20M

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Mission For Mars

Speaking to The Drum, Mars Foods Global CMO Bruce McColl said the firm is looking to expand its ecommerce and programmatic efforts. The maker of brands like Snickers, Uncle Ben’s and M&Ms has already begun to embed buy buttons on its digital dealings, from social media campaigns to video placements. “The big change that’s happening now is the way people are shopping, and when you think about tailoring or starting to merge how you communicate with how people buy, then programmatic and the ability to individualize messages there start to get very exciting,” McColl said. Read it.

Spend For Sponsored

Sponsored content startup Nativo raised a $20 million VC round on Tuesday, led by Advance Vixeid Partners. Nativo works with 350 publishers (including Time Inc., WebMD and TEN: The Enthusiast Network) and will use the funds to invest more resources into content distribution and to expand globally. The native content space is heating up as publishers like BuzzFeed and the NYT build sponsored content studios in-house and as brands seek distribution for their content marketing. Nativo’s funding comes just weeks after its competitor TripleLift raised $10.5 million. Nativo had previously raised $11.2 million to date. Read the press release.

A Round For RadiumOne

Speaking of funding, RadiumOne secured a $54 million round (50% equity, 50% debt), bringing its total financing to $87 million. RadiumOne will use the money to increase its investment in Activate, a self- and managed-service programmatic ad platform. “Marketers are continuing their march toward programmatic – not just with online, video and mobile display ads but with rich media formats as well,” said RadiumOne chief Bill Lonergan. More via Business Insider.

What’s ’Appening

According to a Forrester survey released Monday, Google is no longer as reliant as it once was on mobile web usage. According to an opinion poll of 2,000 US smartphone users, Google has 12% of the app market, in terms of user time spent on its apps, compared to Facebook’s 13%. The long tail consists of Apple, Amazon, Yahoo and Microsoft, which combine to equal Google’s market share. But the real competition could come from messaging apps like Tencent’s WeChat, which have user bases that rival the social media giants. Read on at The WSJ.

Blocking The Blockers

Shine, the Israeli company that has reportedly partnered with an (unnamed) European telco to preinstall ad-blocking software on mobile phones, penned an op-ed in Ad Age taking ad tech to task for trying to circumvent ad-blocking tech. Judging by the tone of this post – and the vitriol marketers and publishers have for ad blockers – this fight ain’t over. Check it out.

Handling The Scroll

Facebook’s digital video has gone from nascent to powerhouse in a short timespan, and it is now refining its services for marketers in that department. For example, advertisers on the platform have previously paid for videos that were served to a newsfeed, but now Facebook is looking to introduce a cost-per-view model, which activates only when a certain metric is hit (such as unmuting a video or spending more time watching it). This gives marketers some breathing room over concerns that users are scrolling past ads, and it comes closer to YouTube’s offering, which only counts a view when a user watches for 30 seconds. Read on at Adweek.

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