Mobile Challenge; Sovrn Adds Header Bidding

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Missed The Starting Gun

Last week, AOL acquired Millennial Media to grow its mobile ad biz, but capturing mobile ad dollars is no easy feat. Google has cornered 32.9% of all US mobile ad spend (about $10.02 billion), while Facebook commands 19.4% ($5.2 billion), according to eMarketer. Millennial Media only takes 0.3% of total mobile ad spend in the US, or $101.2 million. To win at mobile, media firms need to offer advertisers scale, robust targeting and sophisticated reporting tools, says eMarketer analyst Cathy Boyle. With Millennial, Boyle says AOL gains ground in scale and targeting. But AOL has a lot of catching up to do. EMarketer expects Google will be the mobile leader through 2017, but Facebook's share of mobile ad spend will grow at a higher rate than Google’s. More.

Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls

Programmatic SSP Sovrn is breaking into the header bidding game with the release of its proprietary bidding tech. Game publisher Curse is the first to trial the auction. “Daisy chaining [or the publisher waterfall] is inefficient because it does not give a publisher full transparency into the fair market value of the publisher’s inventory,” Sovrn explained in a press release. “This lack of transparency means publishers often lose revenue by unknowingly offering and then selling a specific ad impression to one advertiser, when another partner lower in the chain would have paid more.” Read on via MediaPost.

Too Snappy?

Some Snapchat advertisers have a problem with, well, ephemeral messaging. Advertisers are concerned that branded snaps are too often skipped or disappear too quickly, according to Digiday. One unnamed agency source claims 70% of users skip Snapchat ads within three seconds. “It’s a pretty big concern depending on the goals and what you’re buying the ads for,” said Orli LeWinter, VP of strategy and social marketing for 360i. “We tend to focus on video completions as the key metric, versus video views and clicks, because it shows the level of engagement and interest.” More.

There’s Fire And Kindle, But No Heat

Amazon will debut a $50 tablet with a six-inch screen this holiday season, according to the Journal’s Greg Bensinger. But Bensinger’s recent reporting indicates Amazon is pulling back from consumer tech products, an area where it “flamed out” in efforts to produce a popular smartphone. Amazon and Walmart have both dipped a toe in the device production pool, but their struggles shows how tough it is for outsiders to crack a market that’s thoroughly dominated by the likes of Apple and Samsung. More.

A Bazaar Approach

Best Buy has seen success with its “intra-store storefronts” strategy, which give companies like Samsung, Apple and Microsoft dedicated space and signage within a Best Buy. Now, Best Buy is flipping the script. Macy’s revealed that it will license store space to Best Buy to sell tech products within the fashion retailer’s four walls. A pilot program to begin with, Macy’s is only bringing Best Buy into 10 locations through the holidays. But Fortune’s Phil Wahba notes that Macy’s recently introduced Men’s Wearhouse rental shops within 300 stores. Affiliate linking may somehow have jumped to brick-and-mortar retail. Read on.

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