Marketers Will Pay; Men Will Play

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Round-up July 8

Measure Better

Marketers are willing to spend more on digital ads, the WSJ reports, but they want better metrics. WPP agency Millward Brown Digital polled nearly 400 senior marketing execs from agencies, media firms and brands, and more than 70% said they’d increase their mobile, digital and social spend if ROI measurement improved. The demand for social metrics is particularly high, according to the data. When Millward Brown polled execs last year, 50% said they’d increase their social spend if offered better metrics, and that percentage grew to 74% this year. Considering Magna Global says digital ad spend will jump 16% to $149 billion this year, the stakes are high. Read it.

Gentlemen Prefer In-View

In the fall, GQ.com will roll out a digital redesign, and the publisher is making some adjustments in the interim intended to boost ad viewability. The slideshow format, as it’s being called, embeds display ads in a carousel-type collage alongside featured content. When a user browses the site on desktop, banner ads will also appear below and beside the slideshow. The magazine’s publisher, Howard Mittman, called the offering “about as close as you can get to 100% viewability.” Ad Age has more.

Machine Learning Is Learning

Tech platforms are getting better at anticipating user requests (such as weather notices, sport scores and appointments) and that should make traditional search firms nervous. At least, that seems to be the case at Google, where Google Now, its AI assistant product meant to anticipate needs, is starting to take off. Apple, whose AI assistant is linked to Bing search results, is pursuing similar goals, but wants to undercut Google’s dominance in search. With Google pulling $5.6 billion in search traffic from Safari iOS alone (and that deal expiring this year), predictive AI is a sci-fi story with real-world consequences. Read on at Re/code.

Apsalar’s Facebook Hookup

Mobile attribution firm Apsalar is beefing up its mobile DMP with a feature that allows marketers to put app user segments to work. Announced Tuesday, Apsalar Audiences for Facebook is a step toward making its mDMP stickier with brands, which “can tailor their messages based on actual in-app customer behavior,” Apsalar CEO Michael Oiknine told AdExchanger. Do brands need an mDMP? The jury’s still out on that one, but Apsalar made a bet with the launch of its own mobile DMP in June. Read the release.

#HBD

Twitter’s streamlined signup process is coming back to haunt it. The platform that prides itself on minimalism is offering a birthday balloon home page decal to any user willing to share his or her birth date. The blatant data grab is a clear indication that advertisers on the platform would benefit from better targeting, according to TechCrunch reporter Josh Constine, who argues that age range is a big omission. Read on.

The Music Of Ads

Saavn, India’s most popular music streaming service, may be less popular than platforms like Spotify and Pandora in the US. But with 14 million users it is gaining speed, thanks in part to an ad-supported model. On Tuesday it unveiled a $100 million round led by Tiger Global Management. “Music streaming is at the center of the music industry, and India is one of the most important music economies in the world,” said Saavn CEO Rishi Malhotra. “With 2 million Androids shipping each week, music is driving data consumption and redefining mobile advertising.” VentureBeat has more.

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