First Look: IAB Tech Lab Releases ‘Guidelines for Identifier for Advertising (IFA) on OTT Platforms’ for Public Comment

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The IAB Technology Laboratory has released new “Guidelines for Identifier for Advertising on OTT Platforms” with recommendations on how to maintain a high-quality advertising experience within over-the-top television (OTT) environments—advocating that stakeholders manage advertising-related activities through an identifier for advertising (IFA).

Available for public comment through May 3, 2018, the technical guidelines provide instructions on best practices for delivering targeted ads, as well as controlling ad frequency and rotation across a wide variety of disparate smart TVs, connected devices, and other OTT systems.

In order to be compliant with these guidelines, devices and apps must store and send the following parameters as part of any ad request:

  • An identifier for advertising (IFA) – required, unless the user has opted in to limit ad tracking, an IFA must be a unique value that is completely disconnected from a hardware ID, MAC address, IMEI, or IP address
  • An associated IFA type – identifying the source of the IFA, whether device-generated, publisher-provided, or temporary
  • Limit ad tracking (LAT) – an opt-out mechanism to respect the user’s privacy choices

The guidelines also feature specific advice and intelligence for consumer electronics manufacturers, OTT app publishers, and ad/measurement platforms to address the needs of each of these stakeholder groups.

“After linear TV, more Americans watch video content on OTT than on VOD or DVR, and the medium is skyrocketing,” said Dennis Buchheim, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab. “The traditional semi-persistent cookie we are accustomed to using as an identifier on browsers isn’t at play across OTT systems, so we need to deploy other types of identifiers to ensure that ad experiences are optimal for consumers. These guidelines will direct stakeholders down the path of best practices to allow OTT to grow and evolve as a significant advertising platform.”

“Between smart TVs, connected devices, and other OTT systems out in the marketplace—all with varied approaches to identification—we’re looking at a ‘Tower of Babel’ challenge,” said J. Allen Dove, CTO, SpotX, and member of the IAB Tech Lab OTT Technical Working Group. “The new IAB Tech Lab guidelines solve these challenges and improve overall user experience. We are hoping that others in the industry also contribute their input to make these recommendations even more effective.”

After public comment concludes, the IAB Tech Lab OTT Technical Working Group will evaluate and incorporate the feedback received and release a final version. To review the proposed guidelines, click here.

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KRAVE Jerky Just Set the Standard for Location-Based Advertising with inMarket; Drives a 3.8x Increase in Key KPIs

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Jerky is gaining popularity as a go-to snack among many consumer groups — making up a $ 2.8 billion category with growing sales, according to Nielsen. KRAVE jerky, acquired by the Hershey Company in 2015, has become a favorite of active, health-conscious consumers. The lean, protein-filled snack is not just an example of the perfect snack on the go, but its marketing team just set the standard for how to engage consumers at the most relevant moments in their purchase cycle.

KRAVE partnered with inMarket — the online to offline advertising company that connects brands with consumers at the moment of truth. inMarket’s groundbreaking ad platform connects the entire customer acquisition funnel for brands, creating engagement at the precise moments when shoppers are planning a store visit, entering a store and even when they’re holding a product in their hands.

inMarket does this through a proprietary first party platform, which aggregates and anonymizes location data from millions opted-in consumers. In today’s landscape, inMarket has become a consumer privacy standard-bearer for the advertising industry — encouraging a 100% opt-in structure when most publishers and ad networks rely only on opt-out.

Using inMarket’s full-service platform, KRAVE Jerky deployed a multifaceted online-to-offline ad solution that leveraged inMarket’s unique ability to reach shoppers throughout the entire purchase funnel. The program focused on cross-digital promotion at the awareness stage, and then drove product interaction and sales via mobile during the decision stage while the consumer was inside the store.

Through inMarket’s Preceptivity predictive cross-channel solution, KRAVE Jerky gained the ability to identify when shoppers were “due” for their next store visit and deploy creative across mobile and desktop at the perfect moments when individual shoppers were most receptive. Preceptivity drives huge ROI because it eliminates wasted impressions that occur after a store visit when a shopper is unreceptive.

With consumers warmed up through cross-digital awareness, inMarket then put its huge mobile audience and seven years of experience to work via Moments In-Store. These exclusive mobile ads are delivered to consumers at the exact moment they walk through the door of target retailers. Finally, the campaign delivered Moments In-Hand — high performing, decision-making mobile ad units —  to shoppers who were physically holding KRAVE Jerky. Custom creative reinforced USPs — driving sales without relying on discounts.

The KRAVE Jerky campaign focused on key KPIs including purchase intent lift, brand awareness lift and ad unit CTR. Post-exposure, 15.8% of surveyed shoppers said they were now aware of KRAVE Jerky, resulting in a 72% brand awareness lift. Most importantly, 26.80% of shoppers said they were planning to purchase KRAVE Jerky after being exposed to the ad — a 3.8x lift.

Today’s shopper marketing landscape can be a confusing mix of old-school media and flashy digital solutions. By working with inMarket — am 8-year-old company with a commitment to accuracy and privacy — KRAVE has established itself as a location marketing trendsetter.

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Is Blockchain the Solution to the Crisis in Digital Advertising?

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Presented by: PreVUE Blockchain by DashBid

Last November, with concern about “fake news” and social media manipulation at a fever pitch, news broke about another kind of online trickery: A ring of criminal hackers was found to be stealing somewhere around $ 500,000 a day from the buyers of online advertising. The operation, dubbed “Hyphbot,” impersonated media operations like the New York Times and Forbes and then sold views and clicks that were actually generated from fraudulent sites by automated bots from malware-infected PCs.

It was a dramatic instance of a much broader epidemic. One stunning estimate, made in early 2017, put the annual amount of ad fraud worldwide at $ 16.4 billion. That number represents a huge loss for advertisers and clients, who are spending money that has no impact on consumers. But ad fraud also has much larger economic and social impacts, including implications for the health of global democracy. How much good reporting, for instance, could Time or The Guardian have done with even a tiny fraction of that $ 16.4 billion in stolen ad revenue?

The good news is that there may be a solution to all of this, and it’s just over the horizon. Blockchain, the same technology that helped create the digital currency Bitcoin, could solve many of the underlying problems that make ad fraud possible.

A Frustrated Dream

To understand why blockchain is potentially useful for preventing online ad fraud, you first have to understand why such fraud happens and the big promise it’s undermining. First, flash back to the information desert that was pre-internet advertising. Old media like print magazines, billboards, and even television offered relatively little data about who saw an ad. They generally only provided volume and broad demographics, both with a pretty substantial time-lag. Most ad sales were, and many still are, based on the prestige of a publisher or broadcaster and good salesmanship, more than on measurable results.

But by the 1990s, it started to seem that digital ads could change all of that. They would allow precise, real-time tracking not only of how often an ad was viewed, but the characteristics of its viewers, and even whether a viewer went on to engage with an ad or buy a product. It was thought this would dramatically increase the effectiveness of advertising. It would also make everyone a potential publisher — blowing the doors off the media establishment and letting everyone from solo bloggers to remote freelance reporters make ad money from their creativity and drive.

The problem is that it’s easy to subvert such a system, given the radically open structure of the internet. Anyone can connect to the internet from anywhere, and that openness makes tracking or confirming identity very difficult. Hyphbot was able to sell all those fake ads by simply creating domains that superficially mimicked those of prestige publishers, and there was no easy, automated way to distinguish them from the real thing.

To paraphrase a prescient New Yorker cartoon from 1993 on the internet: Nobody knows you’re a dog watching a heartwarming Colgate video thousands of times in a Russian basement.

The problem is worsened by the structure of the online advertising market. Most sales for display and video ads are “programmatic.” That is, at least partly automated. For the dream of data-rich internet advertising to scale up, it has to work this way. However, the architects of the sales process also sit between buyers and sellers – often in many layers. Because of a general lack of transparency in these operations, there are many opportunities for fraudulent ad inventory to enter the ecosystem.

Due to these drawbacks and failures, the dream of trackable, countable online advertising has only come true in a tragically limited sense. Facebook and Google have captured huge amounts of data about their users and solved some fundamental digital identity problems (though both have been fraud targets themselves). Because advertisers can target audiences based on trustworthy data from Facebook and Google, and buy fairly trustworthy views directly from them, they have come to dominate advertising online, with a combined 60% market share  in 2017.

That’s worrisome, and not just for publishers who would love to have more revenue from direct ad sales. For advertisers, Google and Facebook are hardly sexy destinations, and they offer relatively little variation in how they present ads. They’re particularly bad at doing what television and magazine ads have been good at for so long, which is giving a company or product a public personality. Such branding efforts lay the groundwork for long-term sales by making a brand seem sexy, comforting, or fun.  But the text bubbles, display ads, and 15-second videos that Google and Facebook traffic in truly suck at branding.

This shortcoming is just one example of a much deeper problem. Domination of online advertising by a few players, exacerbated by fraud in programmatic advertising, is bad for advertisers. It’s also bad for our economy and society, because it narrows our options for communicating.

In his new book “Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data,” Oxford economist Viktor Mayer-Schonberger makes the case that richer information flows, including targeted ads, are poised to accelerate the global economy dramatically by more efficiently connecting buyers and sellers. But Schonberger also says that a mix of different targeting algorithms is necessary for that to happen. Without many players, even the smartest markets would be subject to inefficient faults. A Google-Facebook duopoly of advertising, in short, is a real threat to a better future.

Fighting Ad Fraud With Blockchain

How do we fix the flaws – weak identity and poor transparency – that make open-market programmatic advertising so vulnerable to fraud? One notable effort in this direction is ads.txt, a new kind of metadata that publishers can use to “whitelist” trustworthy resellers of their ad space. But this has drawbacks, including requiring trust in publishers, which leaves a potential hacking vector in place and does nothing to police robotic views.

Blockchain technology may be a much better solution. First, the blockchain’s distributed, open, and secure database allows multiple actors in a supply chain to track custody in a way that’s completely transparent and auditable. This approach to ad tech parallels efforts underway in the shipping industry, where blockchain may help keep counterfeit or otherwise questionable goods out of the supply chain.

Second, and more radically, blockchain promises a more open solution to the identity problem than Facebook and Google’s walled gardens. IBM, for instance, is currently developing a blockchain-based digital identity solution that it hopes will be shared among governments and businesses. It or something like it could become a major linchpin of an updated digital ad environment, because it could confirm that an ad appeared on a real site and that a real person viewed it.

This is the first of three pieces we’ll be publishing on blockchain and ad fraud, and in the next two we’ll be diving deeper into precisely blockchain solves these problems for advertisers, while also opening up new possibilities for publishers and even audiences. But the fundamental truth is clear: Online advertising isn’t working, and it needs to, for everyone’s sake.

The preceding communication has been paid for by DashBid. This communication is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell shares or securities in DashBid or any related or associated company. None of the information presented herein is intended to form the basis for any investment decision, and no specific recommendations are intended. This communication does not constitute investment advice or solicitation for investment. Futurism expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any direct or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from: (i) reliance on any information contained herein, (ii) any error, omission or inaccuracy in any such information or (iii) any action resulting from such information. 

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Pluto TV Teams Up With SpotX To Drive Advertising Demand

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MMW can now confirm that SpotX, a video advertising and monetization platform, today extended their strategic partnership with Pluto TV, the leading free OTT television service in America. As part of the renewed collaboration, SpotX will match media buyers to Pluto TV’s premium inventory and power the programmatic monetization of Pluto TV’s free, over-the-top (OTT) content.

So how does it all work?

Pluto TV offers over 100 free live channels and on-demand programming and has partnerships with TV networks, movie studios, publishers, and digital media companies. The company currently entertains millions of monthly unique users who tune-in to watch premium news, TV shows, movies, sports, live events, cartoons, and trending digital series on a free, ad-supported service.

The partnership opens up more opportunities for media buyers who have been increasingly trying to break into the OTT game. According to SpotX’s recent research report entitled, “TV is Total Video: Predicting OTT and the Future of Video Advertising,”

Conducted by S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Kagan, 67 percent of advertisers expect to spend between 21 and 40 percent of their ad dollars on OTT platforms within the next 24 months. SpotX’s Demand Facilitation services will bring a diverse group of buyers to Pluto TV including auto, retail, CPG, and entertainment, adding more variety on Pluto TV, enhancing the viewer experience, and enabling more advertisers to reach untapped OTT audiences.

In recent months, Pluto TV has been heavily focused on its advertising technology stack, which employs server-side ad insertion (SSAI) technology to combine content and ads into a single video stream that can be easily distributed across all devices and platforms.

We’re told that Pluto TV also runs dynamically-generated videos that promote upcoming content by automatically pulling clips and programming information together into promotional spots that run on-air, driving viewership. Its ad platform integrates with any industry-standard (VAST) ad-serving system without any additional customizations.

“As viewership continues to grow in OTT, many advertisers are unsure about what to buy in the space, or how to effectively buy it,” said Mike Shehan, co-founder and CEO at SpotX. “Pluto TV offers a seamless, TV-like viewer experience, and we’re excited to help create a more powerful offering by connecting advertisers with their inventory.”

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Smaato, Protected Media Work to Ensure Quality of Online Advertising

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Smaato, a leading global real-time advertising platform for mobile publishers and app developers, announced ahead of the weekend that it has implemented Protected Media’s in-app and video ad fraud protection technology to protect its network of 90,000+ publishers and app developers, as well as the 10,000+ advertisers on its platform.

The partnership will provide Smaato with advanced cyber security tools, including sophisticated evaluation of the legitimacy of ad impressions with precise data verification.

Smaato is taking these proactive, preventive measures for fraud protection, in order to safeguard its mobile in-app ad formats which are in high demand. The percentage of in-app ad spending on the Smaato platform has grown from 80% to 96% of the total in the last year, while in-app video ad requests have increased by a remarkable 14X. Advertisers like that in-app inventory experiences significantly less ad blocking than desktop and mobile web; however, without proper management it provides a new opportunity for fraud.

Over the past six months, Protected Media has seen in-app fraud, where fraudsters mask low-quality apps to look like premium publishers, rise to almost 10 times the previous rate across its installed base.

According to Forrester, while video accounts for 45% of total ad spend, it’s linked to 64% of all ad fraud, and also requires additional fraud prevention in-app. Protected Media’s innovative technology paired with Smaato’s rigorous standards for its publishers delivers the antidote to fraud.

“At Smaato, advertisers receive high-quality traffic for all of their mobile ad campaigns across our vast publisher base, and this partnership ensures that quality and value are maintained,” said Georg Fiegen, COO of Smaato. “With Protected Media, we can ensure that the traffic on our exchange is viewable, brand-safe, transparent and protected from fraud.”

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First Look at The Nation’s First Telematics-Based Advertising Network

Answer Financial, a leader in the insurtech space for the past 20 years, today announced the launch of Answer Marketplace, the nation’s first telematics-based advertising network.

Answer Marketplace will connect insurance advertisers with millions of drivers through a network of publishers seeking to enhance their apps by tapping into one of the largest digital advertising segments in the U.S.

For the first time in insurance history, through the Answer Marketplace network of mobile app publishers, advertisers are able to understand drivers’ risk and make smart, personalized offers to reach their ideal customers.

“We’re proud to create an ecosystem that benefits drivers, insurance advertisers and app publishers all at once,” said Darren Howard, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Answer Financial. “By connecting with a mobile app in the Answer Marketplace network, drivers will be empowered by new driving-based features in the apps they use and provided with insurance offers based on their driving behavior. Meanwhile, insurers can personalize offers based on actual driving, and publishers can enhance their app experiences while monetizing their apps in the competitive app economy.”

We’re told that Answer Marketplace is actively building out its network of driving, location and auto-related mobile app publishers – including Life360, the world’s leading family location and driving safety app.

For info on how to become an advertiser or publisher, visit AnswerMarketplace.com or contact partner@answermarketplace.com.

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Advertising in the digital age: why online-first is the future


While internet video continues to grow its coverage, television advertising is losing ground. Young people no longer watch TV as they turn to YouTube, Netflix, and other sources. As such, advertisers are actively transferring budgets from TV to digital sectors. We are going to look into the questions: “Why is native video advertising likely to replace TV?” and “who is driving the change?”. More importantly, how can companies adapt to the changing face of advertisement in this increasingly digital age? The stats are obvious: TV advertising is failing What the “old world” had always feared is happening right before our…

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We all hate advertising, but there’s an easy fix


Like most people, I hate advertising. I hate it because of its manipulative nature, its constant nagging, the off-target communication, and for trying to literally follow you everywhere and trampling your privacy along the way. Luckily some companies are trying to do things differently. They try to earn a spot in your life. By sharing knowledge, giving guidance, and actually becoming relevant in your life. But first I’ll explain why I hate advertising, and why it deserves it. All ads contain a form of deceitfulness and have an imbalance between what the product actually is and what absurd or exaggerated…

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New PubMatic Research Shows Private Marketplaces Drive Global Mobile Advertising Growth

On Tuesday, PubMatic —  a publisher-focused sell-side platform (SSP) — announced findings from its Q4 2017 Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI).

The report, which identifies trends in mobile advertising, found that mobile private marketplaces (PMPs) monetized impression volume increased by 37 percent year-over-year (YOY) in Q4 2017, adding to a long growth streak for mobile PMPs now spanning eight consecutive quarters.

The upswing for mobile PMPs is attributed to major marketers continuing to increase spend through programmatic channels. PMPs offer robust options for advertisers to gain access to premium inventory coupled with safeguards for ad fraud and brand risk, amid growing concerns about quality, viewability and transparency.

For publishers, PMPs provide more control over their inventory and partnership with buyers. As a result, mobile PMP eCPMs globally in 2017 were priced at a 155 percent premium, compared to those paid for the average mobile open exchange impression.

“We have seen a profound shift towards supply chain integrity and quality in 2017,” explained Rajeev Goel, co-founder and CEO of PubMatic. “We expect this trend towards quality and programmatic direct to continue in 2018 as advertisers increasingly demand higher standards for transacting. As an industry, we need to continue our efforts in giving buyers access to highly-engaged mobile audiences in a brand safe environment while providing sellers greater visibility and control.”

To check out the full Q4 2017 Quarterly Mobile Index report, click here.

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NAD issues decision on Verizon complaint about T-Mobile 4G LTE advertising

Hot on the heels of AT&T filing a complaint with the National Advertising Division (NAD) over T-Mobile’s claymation holiday video, a decision  on another NAD complaint related to T-Mo has come out. The NAD has issued a compliance report on a Verizon complaint about T-Mobile’s 4G LTE advertising, which covers three aspects: network speed, network age, and network coverage. When it comes to network speed, the NAD was concerned that the crowdsourced data referenced by … [read full article]

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