New TV Solutions to Roll Out for Display & Video 360 in 2019

Brian Blondy, May 19, 2019

Google is taking big steps toward evolving the programmatic world by joining the online world with the connected TV ecosystem.

Google and its demand-side platform, Display & Video 360, have recently announced that they have begun making more connected TV inventory available for purchase programmatically, in addition to working to define how TV consumers will be able to control their data and the privacy in this connected TV ecosystem.  

Google expects connected TVs to be the next frontier for programmatic advertising and an emerging space that will continue to grow.

Google claims that in just the past twelve months, the number of advertisers running connected TV campaigns on Display & Video 360 has increased 137 percent from 2018 to 2019.  And as of Q2 2019, Google has made more connected TV ad slots available to advertisers using Display & Video 360. 

Here is a breakdown of what Google recently announced regarding user privacy, linear TV capabilities and how it plans to consolidate the digital and TV buying experience for marketers.

Privacy – Present

In partnership with the IAB Tech Lab’s OTT Technical Working Group, Google assisted in developing new industry standards designed to create high-quality and user-focused connected TV experiences.

Display & Video 360 supports the Working Group’s new guidelines, Identifier for Advertising (IFA), which allows advertisers to reach audiences and measure their campaigns in a manner that simultaneously enables transparency, data protection and choice over ad settings to users. 

  • New IFA standards ensure marketers the ability to manage frequency, measure reach, and develop intelligent audience segmentation strategies.
  • End-users have clear choices regarding how data is used (reset collected data, fully opt-out of interest-based advertising).
  • The IFA standards have been adopted by TV device manufacturer Roku and measurement vendor Nielson.

Linear TV – Fall 2019

Display & Video 360’s new linear TV capabilities extend reach to traditional TV viewers by allowing for the purchase of ad slots on national broadcast networks and local TV stations through a partnership with WideOrbit (network affiliates).  Soon, marketers will have access to premium national broadcast and cable channels through clypd.

Within Display & Video 360, marketers can set-up detailed campaign parameters:

  • Target users by Geography, Time, Genre or TV network
  • Manage and optimize budgets and reach

Consolidated TV Buying for Media Buyers – Fall 2019

To build a strong collaboration between TV and digital media buying, Display & Video 360 will contain a consolidated TV workflow allowing marketers to buy connected TV together with traditional TV in one place under a single TV insertion order.

Eight Indicted for Causing Tens of Millions in Losses in Ad Fraud Scheme

Brian Blondy, December 9, 2018

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) presented a wide-ranging indictment charging eight individuals with 13-counts of wire fraud, computer intrusion, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering for allegedly masterminding and operating the 3ve (pronounced “eve”) and Methbot digital ad fraud scams.

The DOJ charged the individuals with amassing in upwards of $30 million of fraudulently earned ad revenue from advertisers seeking to place ads on prominent global websites.

The defendants allegedly used a server farm and a sophisticated botnet of computers to simulate the delivery of billions of impressions which never appeared on websites or were ever viewed by actual internet users.

The accused are Aleksandr Zhukov, Boris Timokhin, Mikhail Andreev, Denis Avdeev, Dmitry Novikov, Sergey Ovsyannikov, Aleksandr Isaev, and Yevgeniy Timchenko. Ovsyannikov was arrested in October 2018 in Malaysia; Zhukov was arrested in November 2018 in Bulgaria; Timchenko was arrested in November 2018 in Estonia, all under provisional arrest warrants issued at the request of the United States.

All of the arrested await extradition to the US, while the other five remaining defendants remain at large. (DOJ)

The DOJ indictment also includes seizure warrants authorizing the FBI to take control of Swiss bank accounts, 31 internet domains, as well as search warrants authorizing the FBI to extract information from 89 computer servers which formed the infrastructure of the botnet network of computers which engaged in the digital advertising fraud.

How The Ad Scam Worked

Between the years of 2014 to 2016, the accused individuals operated a purported advertising network (Methbot) to carry out the digital ad fraud operation.

The defendants arranged partnerships with global SSPs to place ad tags across their network of websites in exchange for ad revenue payments.

Rather than placing the ad tags on actual websites, the defendants instead utilized nearly 2,000 US-based computer servers to load ads onto fake websites by “spoofing” the ad impressions across more than 5,000 domains.

In order to create the illusion that actual human beings were interacting with the ads, the accused programmed datacenter servers to simulate internet activity – fake mouse movement, the starting and stopping of video players, and falsely showing users signed into Facebook on the websites.

An agency or advertisers looking to purchase inventory on premium websites would see the name of the prominent publishers on the ad exchange even though the site was, in fact, a masquerading as a legitimate version of a website. The bots would then visit the fake site and view the impressed ad to generate revenue.

The internet scheme falsified billions of ad impressions and caused defrauded advertisers more than $7 million for ads that were never actually viewed.

The defendants leased over 650,000 IP addresses, assigned multiple IP addresses to each datacenter and then fraudulently registered the IP addresses to create the illusion that the datacenter servers were residential computers belonging to internet users subscribers to local internet service providers.

In parallel, the accused are purported to have also operated an additional, and more profitable, advertising network (3ve) to carry out another advertising fraud scheme in addition to the Methbot operation.

The defendants operated a global botnet of 1.7 million malware-infected computers – each infected with hidden browsers which downloaded fabricated webpages and loaded ads onto these websites.

The actual owners of the infected computers were unaware that the ad fraud process was running in the background of their computer.

In total, the internet scheme falsified billions of ad impressions and caused defrauded advertisers more than $29 million for ads that were never actually viewed.

According to security firm Proofpoint, a vast majority of the millions of infected computers acquired the malware after being tricked by misleading ads shown on websites such as Pornhub.com, which stated that their browser or Adobe Flash required a “critical” update.

Industry experts believe that the malware included “anti-forensic” characteristics which prevented it from being detected or removed from infected computers as well as having digital self-awareness not to load itself onto already malware-infected computers which might by association blow their cover upon discovery.

How the Ad Scam Was Stopped

According to Buzzfeed News, Google and WhiteOps partnered together to begin analyzing information about a botnet they were both tracking in the first months of 2017.  The bots by design were programmed to visit specific websites in order to generate page views and ad impressions that resulted in ad revenue for the fraudsters.

In the following months, the botnet managed to evolve and modify its behavior after measures were taken to filter out the traffic from the advertising systems.

By summer 2017, Google and WhiteOps approached industry partners to address the botnet.  Industry leaders were leery that the Botnet’s size and power to defraud advertisers would begin eroding confidence, stability, and trust in the entire ad ecosystem.

The FBI organized a meeting of digital advertising and cybersecurity experts in August 2017 to build out a robust response to a massive ad fraud scheme which presented an existential risk to the stability of the global digital advertising industry.

The meeting would set in motion a criminal investigation into confronting the “largest and most sophisticated digital ad fraud operation experts have ever encountered.”

By October 2018, the FBI, working alongside and briefing its private sector partners, privately informed the group that it was ready to take down 3ve.

On Oct. 22, the number of bids for ads submitted to ad systems from sites associated with 3ve went from 375,000 at 12 am to 0 by 6 pm the same day. The FBI killed the 3ve operation in 18 hours.

Can You Avoid Getting Scammed by Ad Fraud?

According to the World Federation of Advertisers, ad fraud is currently only superseded by the illegal drug trade in annual revenue.

In 2018 alone, an estimated USD 19 billion stolen from advertisers and publishers by ad fraud — a staggering figure which mostly contributes to reducing advertiser confidence in the industry.

Is there a way to avoid being defrauded by fake inventory? We asked our in-house media buying agency, MediaTraderz, whether it is even possible to avoid purchasing fake inventory.

“It is always challenging to be 100% certain that the traffic you are interested in purchasing is indeed legitimate and not fraudulent. In our experience, our first step is to usually look for abnormal behavioral originating from the publisher in order to understand the source of the inventory,” said Gadi Elias, Programmatic Team Leader at MediaTraderz.

“When we see unusually low prices for what is usually premium inventory, we tend to view that opportunity with a sense of skepticism and primarily avoid it. Also when we see abnormal volumes of inventory for usually low traffic domains or apps we often use several of the industry’s best fraudulent authentications tools (WhiteOps, ProtectedMedia, and DoubleVerify) as solutions for better understanding what we are seeing on the exchange,” said Elias.

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  

You can contact Brian by email at brian@totalmediasolutions.com or on LinkedIn

Google Ads or Display & Video 360 – Which is a Better Buying Platform for You?

Brian Blondy, December 1, 2018

Google Ads or Display & Video 360?

That is the question.

Google offers marketers two excellent platforms for buying programmatic inventory, Google Ads (via the Google Display Network) and Display & Video 360 (via the Google Marketing Platform).

Despite both having equally effective programmatic capabilities for marketers looking to buy digital advertising, the two platforms are entirely different from each other based on the available features and capabilities each uniquely offers digital marketers.

To bring clarity to the uniqueness of both platforms, we will be analyzing the precise differences between Google Ads and Display & Video 360 and then identifying which buying platform, or whether both used in parallel, would perhaps be the most correct strategy for your company’s current programmatic media buying activities and goals.

 

Introduction

Google Ads (Google AdWords)

Google’s most used advertising service for marketers for search & display ads on Google and its advertising network. The Google Ads program enables businesses to set a budget for advertising and only charges when users click (CPC model) the ads.

  • Google owns the world’s largest online display advertising network. (comScore).
  • Google display campaigns reach 80% of global internet users. (Google Benchmarks and Insights).
  • Consumers exposed to display ads are, on average, 155% more likely to search for brand-and segment-specific terms. (Specific Media).
  • Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. (Google Economic Impact Report)
  • 72% of AdWords marketers plan to increase their PPC budgets (Search Engine Watch).This is a strong indication that those businesses were generating positive ROI, because if they were not, then they wouldn’t increase their budgets.

 

Display & Video 360 (DoubleClick Bid Manager)

  • Google’s demand-side platform (DSP) that offers agencies, trading desks, and advertisers access to the world’s most exclusive collection of display, video, native and mobile inventory available in real-time.
  • Display & Video 360 is the evolution and consolidation of DoubleClick Bid Manager, Campaign Manager, Studio, and Audience Center. It offers a single tool for planning campaigns, designing and managing creatives, organizing and applying audience data, finding and buying inventory, and measuring and optimizing campaigns.
  • Display & Video 360 also offers keyword targeting similar to Google Ads but instead of targeting specific search keywords, Display & Video 360 is about contextual keywords.

 

Key Features Comparing Google Ads to Display & Video 360

Creative Options

Google Ads

  • Text, Image, HTML5 (only available for accounts with more than $1,000 total lifetime spend and requires sending an application to Google), Dynamic Creatives and Video Ads.
  • Build and manage creatives in “Ads & Extensions.”

 

Display & Video 360

  • Image, Rich Media (with Campaign Manager), HTML5, Native, Video Ads and Dynamic Creatives (only available with Campaign Manager and a Google Merchant Center account linked to a Google Ads account).
  • Display & Video 360 features a format gallery, an area offering descriptions about each format alongside with example ads for reference.
  • Build and manage creatives with Ad Canvas, Display & Video 360’s visual editor to build and edit creatives in real time.
  • Use data-driven creatives to personalize your creative’s look and feel for different customer segments: Panorama, Cue Cards, Blank Slate.

 

Third Party Data

Google Ads

Google Ads is limited to buying only on the Google Display Network (GDN).

  • Location and language targeting
  • Keyword targeting
  • Device targeting
  • Remarketing

 

Display & Video 360

  • The ability to find the users who could be the ones most interested in your solutions and most likely to convert or purchase.
  • Display & Video 360 provides marketers access to 35 third-party data providers*, which allows you to find users that are similar to your current website visitors, i.e., the types of people who are currently searching for the products/solutions that you offer, and specific demographics or affinity segments.
  • In addition to third-party providers, marketers will also benefit from third-party verification services, which is commonly called third-party data.

 

Feel free to sign up for Display & Video 360 below or contact us if you have any questions.

 

Device Targeting / Reach

Google Ads GDN

  • Google Ads is limited to buying only on the Google Display Network (GDN).
  • Location and language targeting.
  • Keyword targeting.
  • Device targeting.
  • Remarketing users who have previously visited your website. 

 

Display & Video 360

  • Integrated with 90 Ad Exchanges and includes approx. 1 billion websites. Advertise across all screens -Desktop, Smartphones, Tablets, Connected TVs (Tablet, Smart TV).
  • Advanced Targeting capabilities –Locate and target your current and desired customers based on specific demographics, interests and their purchase intent by using Google’s data. Audience frequency caps for excluding users based on the number of impressions they have been served (across media, channels, and identity spaces).
  • Data Management Platforms (DMP) integration by combining first and third-party data to enable buyers to seek out audiences who have either visited or not visited your website.
  • Audience profile analysis which allows marketers to understand the composition of your selected audience (either first-party or combined audiences) based on its overlap with all other audiences in Display & Video 360 (e.g., Google data, first and third-party segments, combined audiences, and other data sets you have access to).
  • Use your cookies and pixels to reach and monitor your target users across the Google Marketing Platform (only with linked accounts with products in the Google Marketing Platform).
  • Campaign activity features the option to create an audience based on the number of clicks, conversions, and impressions (which are based on first-party remarketing lists or lead to conversions). Once established, you can target the new audience list in multiple line items, both current and future.

 

 

 

Private Marketplaces (PMPs) & Programmatic Guaranteed (PG)

 

Private Marketplaces (PMP)

An invitation-only RTB auction where one publisher or a group of select publishers invite specific buyers to bid on inventory. The buyer/advertiser knows precisely which sites and ad placements their advertisements will appear on.

 

Programmatic Direct

Method for advertisers to automate direct ad buys for premium campaigns.

Programmatic direct incorporates both programmatic guaranteed deals and preferred non-guaranteed deals. Programmatic direct differs from real-time bidding in that it is a guaranteed-buy rather than an auction like RTB.

Publishers and advertisers are adopting programmatic direct because it allows for premium purchases to be conducted programmatically rather than through the traditional method of direct ad buys.

 

Google Ads

  • Limited to real-time bidding (RTB), buying ads through computer-run, real-time auctions.
  • Google Ads buyers do not have access to private auctions and direct buying opportunities.

 

Display & Video 360

  • Distinguishes itself from Google Ads by giving marketers the ability to target premium inventory available from high trafficked websites across the world via direct deals with publishers and PMPs and programmatic guaranteed buying opportunities.
  • Premium inventory is made available to every partner using Display & Video 360.
  • Buyers can also purchase a set amount of impressions to a particular website’s inventory through Display & Video 360.

 

Bidding Strategies

Google Ads

  • Automated Bidding based on marketing goals.
  • Manual Bidding for specific keywords & ad groups.
  • Bid Adjustments – Gives the user the ability to increase or decrease bids based on a set percentage.

 

Display & Video 360

Fixed Bid – Flat CPM, no automation used

  • How it Works: Use “Fixed Bidding” to have Bid Manager place the same bid on every impression inputted by the user, regardless of the impression value.

Minimize CPC/Minimize CPA – While spending budget in full, minimize action cost based on set goal

  • How it Works: Use “While spending full budget, Minimize CPC/Minimize CPA” to have Bid Manager automatically change your line item’s bid to get the best CPC or CPA performance possible, given the amount you have to spend to exhaust your budget

Meet or Beat a Goal of CPC/CPA –  Priorities Performance over Spend

  • How it Works: Use “Meet or beat goal of CPC/CPA” to have Bid Manager automatically change your line items bid to meet or beat a specific performance goal. If Bid Manager can’t both hit your performance goal and spend all of your line items budget, Bid Manager won’t spend all of your line items budget. If your line items goal is overly aggressive, your line item may not be able to spend its entire budget.

 

Display & Video 360

Viewability – Maximize the number of viewable impressions

  • How it Works: Use “Optimize for viewable CPM bid” to have Bid Manager automatically change your line item’s bid based on the probability that each available impression will be viewable.
  • For example, if you set a viewable CPM goal of $2 and an impression is 40% likely to be viewable based on Active View’s prediction model, Bid Manager’s automated bidding will bid $0.80 CPM (which is 40% of $2).

For mobile app install line item:

  • By default, it’s set to automated bidding to minimize cost per action (CPA). Because the action in this case is typically an app install, the default bid strategy is designed to minimize the cost per install (CPI).

 

Video Exchanges

Both Google Ads and Display & Video 360 allow marketers to purchase video ads on YouTube.

Specifically, the core difference between the two platforms is Google Ads is connected to the AdX exchange as well as any website serving video through the GDN whereas Display & Video 360’s power lies in its ability access to high-traffiked, premium websites from over 35 video exchanges.

Premium video inventory – Buy brand-safe video inventory for YouTube and TV programmatically through Google Partner Select, Display & Video 360’s premium video marketplace.

It is important to mention that Display & Video 360’s immense strength for video is a massive reason for adding Display & Video 360.  Since Google Ads is limited to the YouTube network and a smaller pool of websites offering video, Display & Video 360’s ability to offer 35 additional exchanges provides a considerable advantage for a marketer looking to launch video campaigns and would like to diversify and expand out the campaigns as far and wide as possible.

 

Feel free to sign up for Display & Video 360 below or contact us if you have any questions.

 

Reporting and Optimization

Both Google Ads and Display & Video 360 offer:

  • Instant Reporting – Allows you to see data immediately, instead of waiting for a report to run and then downloading the file for offline viewing. Instant Reporting is excellent for quick performance checks, ad-hoc reports, and routine analysis of standard dimensions and metrics. Instant reports can be single-use or saved for later, and also made into visualizations like bar and pie charts.
  • Funnel Analytics Measurement – Deep dive into all of your real-time analytics data to investigate whether your campaigns are reaching the right audiences and converting into leads.
  • Precise Campaign Management – Develop and manage your campaigns using Google’s advanced algorithms to adjust and optimize your bids, budgets and optimization strategies to reach your specific campaign goals.
  • Display & Video 360 allows marketers to view the number of impressions, ad clicks and specific website conversions that originated from the ad campaign.

 

Google Ads

Google Ads offers marketers reports which highlight post-click performance and essential metrics about the users.

Google Ads Reports Cover: Acquisition-Behavior-Conversion (ABC) cycle:

  • User acquisition paths.
  • User behavior on site.
  • Conversion patterns.

Google Ads reports show essential metrics from both Google Ads (Clicks) and Google Analytics (Bounce Rate).

 

Display & Video 360

  • Display & Video 360’s reporting system helps you to analyze performance across Display & Video 360 and take action based on those results, including instant reporting that allows you to quickly access data within Display & Video 360 without waiting for reports to export.
  • Full reporting of more than 66 dimensions and 145 metrics for viewing the essential metrics of a campaign.
  • Manual adjustments – Going through the ads one by one and adjusting the bid.

 

Should you add Display & Video 360?

Display & Video 360 will expand and benefit your current abilities to reach your intended audiences. You may be asking, “Why to switch things up when Google Ads is working well?”. We’re confident that if you’re asking this question, then your Google Ads campaigns are probably experiencing positive ROI at a low cost. We want to congratulate you, well done.

However, the central thesis of this eBook isn’t to try to persuade your company to ditch your Google Ads account in favor of a shiny, new Display & Video 360 account.

Instead, as a Google Certified Marketing Partner (GCMP), we would be remiss to ignore the massive benefits Google Ads yields and the success it is potentially already bringing to your company from running ads on the GDN.

We recommend that you should add Display & Video 360 and keep your Google Ads account.

The fact that you are opening a discussion about Display & Video 360 within your marketing plans, reflects the advanced nature of where your company’s digital marketing progress is in general. More specifically, if you’re looking to conquer the next digital frontier with your campaigns, Display & Video 360 is indeed the next building block after Google Ads for digital marketers aiming to take on online video advertising and higher budgets for display advertising on premium websites.

Google Ads is great for video campaigns for reaching audiences in YouTube. Though if you’re serious about running video ad campaigns, Google Display & Video 360 is immensely more suited for your goals since you can reach YouTube in addition to 96 ad exchanges which support video ad formats.

Our perspective is that advertisers should segment Display & Video 360 and Google Ads to each run specific campaigns in parallel to challenge each other and test each platform’s ability to achieve positive ROI. We believe that it is a positive approach to reach new audiences and earn better results. If your company is beginning to feel as though it needs to diversify itself into new exchanges, we can assist you in the decision to start using Display & Video 360 and combine it with Google Ads.

At Total Media, we have an abundance of experience working with premium advertisers seeking to maximize their ROI through Google Ads and Display & Video 360. If you would like to begin using Display & Video 360 and are not sure how to start or how to best use Display & Video 360, we can help you with everything along the way.

 

 

4 Reasons Why Blockchain Could Be the Answer to Programmatic’s Problems

Brian Blondy, November 18, 2018

There is plenty of buzz in the programmatic industry today about integrating blockchain technology into the ecosystem.

Blockchain is most often explained as a continuously expanding list of records, or blocks, connected by encryption that is stored across a distributed matrix of computers globally.  Blockchain’s distribution across a grouping of computers links together a ledger of all of the transactions that occur within a particular blockchain.  The idea behind a chain of computers is to distribute information across many computers rather than on just one, to increase security and decrease the likeliness of a hack against one machine.

New entries into a blockchain are created by data miners who are incentivized to be the first to solve complex mathematical puzzles for writing new transactions into the blockchain.  The first to solve the puzzle receives a financial reward, commonly paid in BitCoin, as a reward for their effort.

The advantage of blockchain is that it is secure and its records cannot be altered without causing all of the previous records across all of the computers in the blockchain to be modified as well. The longer the blockchain, the more secure it becomes.  Therefore, the likeliness of the chain itself being modified at all decreases due to the strength of the blockchain’s global structure across many linked computers.

Growing interest of its applicability is due in large part to its proven ability and success in serving as the public transaction ledger for managing crypto-currencies like Bitcoin, as well as potentially providing its structure and versatility for non-crypto currency use cases such as for art auctions, banking transactions, and environmental issues.

Many believe that blockchain’s potential viability in supporting the programmatic industry is rooted in its value in addressing some of the most significant weaknesses in the programmatic industry today – ad fraud, lack of transparency and diminishing profits.

Here are four reasons why blockchain is considered a valid solution for making programmatic transactions more secure, profitable and transparent for both publishers and advertisers.

Improved Security in Transactions

Blockchain can prevent ad fraud by securing financial campaign transaction with the use of 256-bit encryption, ensuring that only the ad inventory that was sought to be purchased in the end is.

The programmatic industry needs a system of checks and balances to ensure that every company involved in the campaign transaction is aware of the actions of each actor involved.

When a programmatic transaction is made a message is passed to the network to approve or disapprove the legitimacy of the deal. Programmatic ad buyers are understandably interested blockchain technology because it will enable programmatic transactions to become more transparent, and increasingly more trustworthy, especially so when transactions are undertaken with third-parties who are not directly related to the core buyer and seller.

 

 

A blockchain provides all parties an open and decentralized ledger that all parties can verify at any time.  While it is possible for nefarious actors to write lies into a blockchain, no one is incentivized to do this due to a large amount of computing power needed to solve mathematical puzzles for validating and creating new records (ledgers) in the public blockchain.

 

Greater Confidence via Transparency

The emergence of blockchain in the programmatic industry has the possibility of improving the relationship between buyers and sellers in the programmatic supply chain, in addition to sharpening industry standards and increasing security.

Publishers and advertisers alike are currently frustrated with the lack of transparency that takes place behind the scenes of an ad buy. Ad fraud is rampant in the programmatic industry and is estimated to have cost publishers $1.27b annually, and conversely, a recent report by AdLedger titled, “Blockchain & Advertising Special Report,” says ad fraud is especially rampant for advertisers, costing $19b in 2018 alone on the buy-side.

Most ad fraud commonly comes from the following three scenarios:

  • Bots – Automated programs that produce false website impressions which as a result increases the real web traffic received and the ad revenue they earn.
  • Domain spoofing – Content owners mask the real identity of their website by claiming that they are a more popular domain. Domain spoofing causes advertisers to pay for impressions that never appear on premium websites.
  • Human fraud – Click farms employ people to click on advertisements, engage with websites and fill-out forms in order deceive advertisers that the ad engagement is happening when it is not.

 

In all three scenarios outlined above, it’s clear that advertisers appear to be the ones suffering most from ad fraud. According to a 2017 study by Fraudlogix, an ad fraud solutions specialist serving global DSPs and SSPs, an evaluation of 1.3 billion random ad impressions over 30 days found that 247 million of the monitored impressions, roughly 19 percent, were found to be either fake or bot-generated. Despite the optimism, figures released in March 2017 point to ad fraud costing advertisers $16.4 billion in wasted ad spend globally during the current calendar year, a number which amounts to a total loss just short of 20% of the whole digital ad spend worldwide in 2017.

 

Increased Profit Margins

Blockchain’s value comes from bringing transparency to all parties within a public transaction. As a result of this transparency, both publishers and advertisers can reach more sound evaluations about their margins and determine which vendors are providing the highest financial value relative to their cost.

As of today, an ad buy passes through several sets of go-betweens (and sometimes more than several) before it reaches the publisher and consumer. When a publisher reviews their finances about their monetized impressions, it is quite common for a publisher to only yield 30% for the impression after all of the actors involved in the programmatic food chain have taken their share.

In order to address the consequences of ad fraud, both publishers and advertisers have begun using third-party verification services for verifying ad delivery. Agencies are pushing these fees onto publishers, who as a result raise CPMs to compensate for the increase in expenses.

Third-party verification fees vary in price depending on how many products an advertiser chooses wants to use. Commonly an advertiser will choose to use a combination of tracking, anti-fraud and viewability products, which can add up to nearly $2 per CPM. Not surprisingly these expenses are passed along to publishers, who as a result are seeing less profit due to the sunk cost of doing business in the programmatic industry. For further information about third-party verification fees, AdWeek recently published an excellent in-depth discussion about these so-called ad-tech taxes, see the article here.

Blockchain’s digital ledgers will reduce some of those inefficiencies by de-intermediating the market for advertisements, radically reducing ad spend waste by exposing unnecessary third-parties from being involved in the transaction.

 

 

 

Growing Appreciation and Adoption 

The emergence of blockchain in the industry has the possibility of improving the relationship between buyers and sellers in the programmatic supply chain, thereby sharpening industry standards, increasing security and reducing unnecessary third-parties from the transaction.

In July 2018, the IAB Technology Laboratory, a non-profit research and development consortium that produces and provides standards, software, and services to drive growth of an effective and sustainable global digital media ecosystem, announced details about its Blockchain Working Group pilot program to demonstrate the applicability and value of blockchain technology for programmatic advertising.  Partnered with leaders from across the supply chain, FusionSeven, Kochava Labs, Lucidity, and MetaX, the group is striving to test and evaluate the how Blockchain can address the primary pain points in programmatic “from data discrepancies to supply chain transparency.”

Additionally, the Adledger “Blockchain & Advertising Special Report,” found that a substantial majority of ad executives believe that the future of the programmatic advertising industry will eventually be linked and secured by blockchain technologies. The report surveyed 100 senior advertising executives about blockchain and its importance in the programmatic industry. When asked whether they believe that Blockchain is the future of programmatic advertising, more than 70% of the executives responded that they either “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” with the statement.

Blockchain’s central benefit is its ability to provide transparency and accuracy in its reporting, and there is a growing sentiment among advertisers that blockchain has the power to improve the industry. “ The AdLedger report found that 31.3% of marketers think blockchain can solve the industry’s problems, while 37.7% say maybe and 13.4% say no.

Optimism about blockchain is now evolving into actual use. Toyota and its ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi recently ran a trial with Lucidity to test whether a blockchain-based technology system would yield better programmatic ad campaign performance.

Not surprisingly the campaign resulted in a 21% better performance with blockchain than without by tracking and excluding suspect websites and bot fraud from the campaign.

Beachfront, a leading ad tech provider for video publishers, has also begun integrating cryptographic and blockchain based technologies into its ad platforms to enable better targeting for ad campaigns, in addition to offering post-campaign verification for video ads across all devices (desktop, mobile, connected TVs).

Beachfront’s cryptographic and blockchain technologies create a detailed and permanent record of each campaign which allows for publishers to provide evidence of ad delivery, which audiences received the impression, as well as enabling advertisers set-up more precise targeting and optimization for their campaigns.

Blockchain’s central benefit is its ability to provide transparency and accuracy in its data, and there is a growing sentiment among advertisers that blockchain has the power to improve the industry. According to the AdLedger report, 31.3% of marketers think blockchain can solve the industry’s problems, while 37.7% say maybe and 13.4% say no.

Just over 50% think blockchain will reduce the number of intermediaries in the supply chain, with 34.8% saying maybe. More than a third, or 39.4%, agree and 32.4% strongly agree that blockchain is the future of advertising.

 

Concluding Thoughts 

The emergence of blockchain in the programmatic industry offers a compelling case for improving the relationship between buyers and sellers in the programmatic supply chain. As a result, blockchain could effectively assist in improving industry standards, increasing security and reducing unnecessary third-parties from the transaction.

Proponents of the technology may very well be correct in believing that blockchain’s viability in supporting the programmatic industry would effectively address three of the most significant weaknesses in the programmatic industry today – ad fraud, lack of transparency and diminishing profits.

Though for blockchain to be considered a viable measurement and validation tool, it needs to be universally adopted by both sides of the programmatic ecosystem as a recognized standard. Perhaps a critical mass of adopters will emerge in 2019 and create a new status quo for how the industry self-regulates itself.

Where things stand today, it easy to see why blockchain is considered a valid solution for making programmatic transactions more secure, profitable and transparent for both publishers and advertisers.

There is plenty of buzz in the advertising industry about integrating blockchain technology into the ecosystem, and we are expecting the conversation about the technology to grow louder and the integration of the technology to begin to scale in 2019.

 

 

 

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  

You can contact Brian by email at brian@totalmediasolutions.com or on LinkedIn

HTML5 Campaigns Now Enabled in Google Ads

Brian Blondy, October 2, 2018

If you were wondering whether it would ever be possible to run HTML5 campaigns in Google Ads, we have some good news for you.

Since August 27, 2018, Google has begun automatically approving advertisers for HTML5 ads once they spent more than USD 1,000 on Google Ads, and their account is more than 90 days old.

You can apply for HTML5 access here – https://support.google.com/google-ads/contact/html_5_access?hl=en

Currently, there are no limitations for running HTML5 campaigns in Display and Video 360.

HTML5 is the latest standard of HTML and the first update of the standard since 1997 (HTML4). It features new elements, attributes, and behavior which create clear advantages for advertisers seeking new, streamlined solutions for delivering video content within an advertisement. In contrast to previous versions of HTML, HTML5 supercharges websites, applications and video to be more powerful, cost-effective and faster loading on the internet.

If you need any assistance beginning HTML5 on Google Ads, you are welcome to reach out to us and we will assist you in any manner that we can.

 

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Brian by email at brian@totalmediasolutions.com or on LinkedIn

Meet with us at our DMEXCO exhibition booth – Hall 8, E32

Brian Blondy, September 4, 2018

Save time to meet with us at our DMEXCO exhibition booth (Hall 8, E32), Sept. 12-13, 2018

 

This year we are excited to be taking meetings about EBDA, the next great technology in the programmatic industry for publishers.  In addition, we will also be presenting our full spectrum of dynamic solutions (platform accessmediaservicesanalytics) for publishers and advertisers.  Scroll down for our DMEXCO overview so you know which meeting to book.

Whether you are looking to earn more revenue for your website or you want to reach new audiences with your digital campaigns, we are certified and trusted by Google for over fifteen years to provide you with the highest standard of technology, service and excellence. Let us know how we can assist you.

If you would like to set up a meeting for DMEXCO you can contact us here.

 

EBDA is now available for publishers in Google Ad Manager 360!

Exchange Bidding Dynamic Allocation (EBDA) is a dynamic revenue earning strategy in Google Ad Manager which enables exchanges and SSPs to bid on a publisher’s inventory within a unified auction.  EBDA is an excellent strategy for publishers to accelerate growth and increase monthly revenue.
  • Increased global competition and demand for your inventory.
  • Reduced load latency and complexity for partner tags.
  • Simplified and timely monthly payment for all revenue earned.
  • The next great technology in the programmatic industry for publishers.

Publisher Solutions We’re Presenting at DMEXCO

Google Ad Manager 360 (with EBDA)
The ultimate platform to manage your ad business and grow your revenue.

Total Media’s Video Platform
Advanced outstream video advertising solutions.

Monetization & Optimization 
Setup, optimization, and maintenance of your ad revenue.

Set-up a Meeting – Contact us here.

Advertiser Solutions We’re Presenting at DMEXCO

Display & Video 360 
End-to-end campaign management as a part of the Google Marketing Platform.

Video Marketplace

A curated pool of programmatic inventory sources for maximizing your campaigns.

Set-up a Meeting – Contact us here.

 

The Power of Outstream – Mobile Interstitial

Brian Blondy, August 22, 2018

 

Mobile View

This format is a mobile format, in order to view properly please enter using your mobile phone. Alternatively you can use the developer toolbar in Chrome by pressing Ctrl + F12 and clicking on the mobile icon as per the below.


 

Outstream for Publishers

Unlike pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll formats, outstream is not dependent on existing video content. All types of publishers can increase monetization opportunities with video outstream because it allows publishers to enjoy revenue from video without having to face the complexities or demands of producing video content while at the same time ensuring an excellent user experience on the site.

Mobile Interstitial – Ideal for Smartphones

A top fixed slider is designed to open up when there is demand, in the top center area of the user’s screen, and remains anchored there when the user scrolls. The player will close when the ad completes. In addition, there is an option for the user to close the ad.

Total Media’s outstream tags are connected to buyers from hundreds of dynamic demand sources. Any publisher can use outstream within their content as a means of creating website monetization on desktop and mobile.

Implementation of outstream onto a webpage is simple- webmasters simply need to add a universal, simple tag which will take a small footprint onto the web page.

Click Here to View Our Outstream InRead Demo

 

 

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Brian by email at brian@totalmediasolutions.com or on LinkedIn

 

The Power of Outstream – Mobile Top Fixed Sticky

Brian Blondy, June 28, 2018

 

Mobile View

This format is a mobile format, in order to view properly please enter using your mobile phone. Alternatively you can use the developer toolbar in Chrome by pressing Ctrl + F12 and clicking on the mobile icon as per the below.

 

Outstream for Publishers

Unlike pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll formats, outstream is not dependent on existing video content. All types of publishers can increase monetization opportunities with video outstream because it allows publishers to enjoy revenue from video without having to face the complexities or demands of producing video content while at the same time ensuring an excellent user experience on the site.

Top Fixed Sticky – Ideal for Mobile

A top fixed slider is designed to open up when there is demand, in the top center area of the user’s screen, and remains anchored there when the user scrolls. The player will close when the ad completes. In addition, there is an option for the user to close the ad.

Total Media’s outstream tags are connected to buyers from hundreds of dynamic demand sources. Any publisher can use outstream within their content as a means of creating website monetization on desktop and mobile.

Implementation of outstream onto a webpage is simple- webmasters simply need to add a universal, simple tag which will take a small footprint onto the web page.

Click Here to View Our Outstream InRead Demo

 

 

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Brian by email at brian@totalmediasolutions.com or on LinkedIn

 

The Power of Outstream – Sticky

Brian Blondy, April 23, 2018

 

Outstream for Publishers

Unlike pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll formats, outstream is not dependent on existing video content. All types of publishers can increase monetization opportunities with video outstream because it allows publishers to enjoy revenue from video without having to face the complexities or demands of producing video content while at the same time ensuring an excellent user experience on the site.

 

Sticky Video Monetization – Ideal for Desktop

A sticky ad is designed to open up when there is demand, in the bottom right-hand side the screen, and is anchored there when the user scrolls. The player will close when the ad completes. In addition, there is an option for the user to close the ad.

Total Media’s outstream tags are connected to buyers from hundreds of dynamic demand sources. Any publisher can use outstream within their content as a means of creating website monetization on desktop and mobile.

Implementation of outstream onto a webpage is simple- webmasters simply need to add a universal, simple tag which will take a small footprint onto the web page.

Check out our video monetization demos for publishers:

In-Article VCU

Corner VCU

Persistent VCU

In-Article Outstream

Inside of Outstream, Taking a Closer Look at InRead

Brian Blondy, April 23, 2018

Outstream for Publishers

Unlike pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll formats, outstream is not dependent on existing video content. All types of publishers can increase monetization opportunities with video outstream because it allows publishers to enjoy revenue from video without having to face the complexities or demands of producing video content while at the same time ensuring an excellent user experience on the site.



InRead Video Monetization

InRead is a type of outstream video format that is designed to open up when there is demand and expands to show between text. Publishers have the option to choose whether the player will pause if the player becomes less than 50% viewable or the player can continue in the bottom right-hand corner of the page in a minimized size.  In both cases, the video player will close upon the completion of the advertisement.

Total Media’s outstream tags are connected to buyers from hundreds of dynamic demand sources. Any publisher can use outstream within their content as a means of creating website monetization on desktop and mobile.

Implementation of outstream onto a webpage is simple – webmasters simply need to add a universal, simple tag which will take a small footprint onto the web page.

 

Check out our video monetization demos for publishers:

In-Article VCU

Corner VCU

Persistent VCU

Sticky Outstream