Nexstar Media Group to Acquire Leading Digital Video Advertising Infrastructure Platform

Nexstar Media Group, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire LKQD Technologies, a leading independent video advertising infrastructure company.

The pending deal is said to be worth approximately $ 90 million.

The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Nexstar’s operating results and free cash flow, does not materially alter the Company’s leverage position and will be financed with cash generated from operations and funds provided by the Company’s revolving credit facility.

LKQD provides enterprise digital video advertising technology infrastructure for publishers and advertisers on all screens reaching approximately 115 million US online video viewers across desktop, mobile-web, mobile-app and connected TVs. Designed for flexibility, scalability and speed, LKQD’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) technology provides end-to-end systems for ad serving, mediation, programmatic auctions and advanced reporting— allowing publishers to book, manage, optimize and track their operations in real-time from one dashboard.

“Our acquisition of LKQD is consistent with our long-term strategic and financial growth objectives for Nexstar Digital as we unify, expand and invest in our technology platform to optimize results for our clients, while developing new revenue opportunities,” says Perry A. Sook, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nexstar. “By adhering to our disciplined acquisition and integration criteria, we are acquiring the leading, fast-growing, profitable, online video advertising business at an attractive, accretive valuation. Looking ahead, we continue to evaluate additional digital investments and select accretive transactions to drive the next phase of growth and success for Nexstar Digital.”

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China’s Mobile Power Rises as Baidu’s DU Ad Platform Surpasses 2,400 Developers

Baidu, Inc., a leading Chinese language Internet search provider, has confirmed that its global advertising platform DU Ad Platform (DAP) has surpassed 2,400 mobile developers worldwide, a 50% increase over its user base in 2016.

In recognition of this achievement, DAP was named as one of 2017’s Top 10 Global Leading Enterprises and as a Top 10 Global Influential Marketing Service Platform by mobile marketing firm Morketing at an event in Beijing on November 29, 2017

“We’re very honored to receive these prestigious awards from Morketing,” said General Manager of Baidu’s Global Business Unit, Johnson Hu. “DAP grew significantly this year thanks to a combination of strong technology and high quality users. We increased average eCPMs by 35% across the board. Because we publish our own apps, we have quality, in-house traffic from all over the world. It’s a fantastic opportunity for our partners,” he said.

DAP’s inventory covers 800 million monthly active users, including Baidu’s own apps as well as third-party apps. In 2017 alone, the number of third-party app users on DAP grew by more than 110%, said Mr. Hu. “We will keep innovating to ensure that DAP is always the top choice for developers and advertisers in 2018 and beyond,” he said.

“As one of the earliest Chinese IT companies to go abroad, Baidu is rooted locally but has a pioneering spirit when it comes to exploring global markets,” said Morketing CEO Ms. Zeng Qiao. “DAP builds upon Baidu’s wealth of experience with its in-house traffic and powerful tech. It’s a worthy recipient of Morketing’s awards,” she said.

To learn more about the ad platform, click here.

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Premium Social: How to Hit the Brakes on the 65km-Per-Year Scroll

The following is a guest contributed post from Ben Le Tourneau, Integrated Director, The Operators.

How far do you scroll on your phone in any given day? Recent findings suggest it may be more than you realize.

Today, the average smartphone user is said to scroll some 178 metres every 24 hours on their device – or to put it another way, that’s 65km per year of thumb dragging through a seemingly infinite catalogue of content. That’s more than most people run.

For “power users”, that number can stretch to a whopping 101km per year – a hundred thousand metres of status updates, tweets, photos, emails, event invites, whatsapp messages, news stories, and, occasionally, advertisements.

Social advertising has grown in prominence over recent years – it’s clearly where audiences live, and access to engagement analysis makes for a welcome change to the unknown quantity that is traditional above the line channels. And brands are taking notice – it was a few short months ago that Adidas turned its back on TV commercials, preferring instead to focus on online strategy with a $ 4.25b target. Online, and particularly social media, has taken over.

But how can social advertising stand out from such a cacophonous environment? The answer – and arguably the future of online advertising itself – is to be found in Premium Social.

“Premium Social” is how we refer to high-end, high-quality, high-volume images and video, developed specifically for social media with a budget perhaps more constricted than that of a standard campaign – but content that nevertheless aspires to the same production values and approach as a typical television advertisement.

To get more granular – it’s content that catches the eye, using the restrictions of the format and channels it’s hosted on to its benefit, rather than resigning to them as inflexible limitations. It’s exciting, concise visuals that jump out from the online milieu, causing people to stop that seemingly never-ending scroll. It’s the top-quality production values condensed and filtered to a format that Generation Z are really paying attention to.

We’re living in the age where attention spans are shorter than ever. You need to battle against the colossal temptation of the continued scroll: your need to elicit a reaction and a sense of brand awareness in the momentary 5-inch swipe past your Instagram ad. A static image thrown together in Photoshop isn’t going to cut it (and isn’t even preferred by some social platform’s algorithms).

Content premium in nature is the only route to success.

At The Operators Creative, we’ve been working to perfect the art and approach to creating Premium Social alongside agencies such as Poke London, BMB and INITIALS for brands like Heineken, Samsung and Monkey Shoulder.

We love to use social spaces creatively and engagingly, looking for unique ways to entice audiences with the high-quality visuals they’re accustomed to on the big screen, but formatted to their phone. Techniques spread the gamut from beer ads with depth and animated backgrounds to playful VFX living room trickery and stop-motion cocktail recipes. It’s all about mixed media – from shooting to digital wizardry in post.

But it’s about more than good ideas. Online creative is high volume by nature – television is one format and one alone; social is Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and a great deal more. Pair that with the need for premium quality, and you’re looking at a new kind of challenge.

The key is to be found in production agility. Yes, you need a team experienced in shooting, direction, post, timing, and even sound production (Facebook videos now automatically come with sound, after all) but also a team that fully understands the process, that knows you’re delivering to vertical, to square, to landscape – and that knows these demands might change. If a client wants to add Snapchat to the mix in the eleventh hour, do you want to go and reshoot? Or do you want to consider the possibilities, shoot in preparation, and build a process that allows for easy manipulation of end results?

Premium Social is exciting – it’s still new, and there are very little rules, but creatives need to bend traditional processes by being nimble, smart, and creative. Creative outfits that aren’t prepared for this eventuality are the ones that will fall behind in 2018.

The landscape has changed. Two years ago, brands would balk at the very thought of spending £100k on a social campaign. Now they’re funneling that same money into the social channels we scroll through every day.

Thankfully, high-quality and high-volume mixed media content that works across multiple platforms, both online and out of home, can co-exist: 2018’s successful agencies will be those that learn to have their cake and eat it.

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AdSpruce Launches New Mobile Ad Type

AdSpruce, an industry leader in creative and dynamic mobile web ads, has launched a mobile ad type that engages the user even more than before.

So how does it work?

Swipe to Engage allows advertisers to connect with users by allowing the user to physically interact with the brand. By adding Swipe to Engage a user is given an incentive to swipe and see what content follows the action.

Swipe to Engage offers brands a solution to get users to physically engage with the ad. The ad type was created with interactivity and creativity in mind. Swipe to Engage can be creatively implemented into mobile web ads in many ways, including allowing the user to Swipe to Engage in order to start a Vertical Video. Another implementation is Swipe to Engage to “unwrap” a product on screen, or to start a full Animated Takeover.

Several successful campaigns have already been completed with Swipe to Engage, in which the advertiser wanted to create a memorable ad experience by having the user interact with the brand within the ad spot.

“Engagement is king on the mobile web. Our Swipe to Engage ad type adds a brand new layer of engagement to mobile web ads, and combined with some of the best creatives on mobile and lightning fast ad servers, AdSpruce now offers one of the most engaging, best looking ads on the planet,” said AdSpruce CEO Ian Mullins.

To learn more about AdSpruce’s mobile video advertising capabilities, click here.

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Reveal Mobile Joins the Network Advertising Initiative

Reveal Mobile, a leading innovator in location intelligence, has just announced that it has joined the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), the leading self-regulatory association dedicated to responsible data collection and its use in digital advertising.

To become an NAI member, Reveal Mobile submitted to a rigorous privacy and security review. This six-week process included a multi-disciplinary and cross-organizational review of the company’s privacy and data handling practices. After in-depth questionnaires, phone interviews, and reviews of external disclosures, Reveal Mobile made additional enhancements to their policies to stay in line with industry best practices for privacy and security across their contracts, technology, infrastructure, and marketing collateral. To retain membership, Reveal Mobile will undergo an annual NAI compliance review and continue adhering to the NAI’s Code of Conduct.

“As a leading company in the mobile location advertising and analytics industry, we feel a responsibility to maintain the highest privacy and security standards for our business customers and consumers,” said Brian Handly, CEO of Reveal Mobile. “As a member of NAI, we will work to further educate the market on responsible data management standards and how to effectively apply them. We believe that full transparency in protecting consumer privacy is in the best interests of the entire mobile advertising ecosystem.”

NAI’s member roster is composed of more than 100 advertising technology leaders who are committed to enforcing high standards for data collection and use for advertising online and on mobile devices. Membership in the NAI gets Reveal Mobile access to crucial industry advice and insight related to privacy and data handling, making the company better positioned to adopt new policies and adapt to the quickly changing environment.

“We are happy to welcome Reveal Mobile as a new member,” said NAI President and CEO Leigh Freund. “We’re looking forward to working with Reveal Mobile while we continue to shape the future of internet-based and mobile app advertising best practices and innovation.”

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