ExchangeWire European Weekly Round-Up

ExchangeWire rounds up some of the biggest stories in the European digital advertising space, and in this week’s edition:Telstra buys into ad tech; Yahoo on the acquisition trail; Transparency raised by UK advertisers; Facebook's re-org of its preferred developer programme. 

Telstra buys UK-based Videoplaza

Australia’s Telstra this week joined the long list of mobile operators investing in the ad tech sector via its subsidiary Ooyala purchasing Europe-based Videoplaza for an undisclosed fee.

For Ooyala, this acquisition is the first step in a multi-step strategy aimed at establishing global leadership in personalized cloud TV and video, plus the deal gives Videoplaza an enhanced presence in the US market, according to the pair.

Jay Fulcher, Ooyala, CEO, said: “Our combined platforms will offer a more holistic view of content and ad performance across a broadcaster's entire business, including granular data on not only what, how and where people are watching, but also where and how they can make the most money.”

Videoplaza's clients base include Europe-based broadcasters such as France’s M6, IP Deutschland as well as Sweden’s TV4, Spain’s Mediaset and STV in the UK.

The deal shows that video ad tech firms are some of the hottest properties in the ad tech sector in 2014, with the deal coming hot on the heels of Facebook’s purchase of LiveRail and RTL purchasing a majority stake in SpotXchange.

It also demonstrates mobile operator groups’ ongoing interest in ad tech firms, with Telstra following Telefonica (which this year bought mobile ad network Axonix), as well as Singtel, which has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Amobee.

Yahoo, Brightroll rumours abound

Yahoo is in talks to buy video ad tech firm BrightRoll for as much as $1bn according to press reports, with TechCrunch pegging the mooted deal at $700m, as the company seeks to reverse its banner ad revenue decline.

Multiple press reports citing sources close tot the deal, have claimed that Yahoo is ready to sign on the dotted line, as I seeks to convert its billion dollar purchase Tumblr into a YouTube rival.

Earlier in the week, yahoo reported its latest earnings, with combined search-and-display advertising revenue hitting $899m during the period, a 1% drop compared to a year ago, while overall revenue grew by 1% to $1.15bn.

Revenue from search advertising grew for the third straight quarter, this time by 4% year-over-year to $452m, compared to its display-ad revenue, which fell by 5% year-over-year to $447m.

UK advertisers speak out on transparency

UK advertising body ISBA this week spoke to ExchangeWire, with Bob Wootton, ISBA, director of media & advertising, recounting how how brands’ “anger” over instances of ad misplacement helped break earlier cross-industry deadlock over such issues, as well as addressing issues around

Advertisers are very excited by the targeting and accountability of return on investment which the digital channels promise, but are at the same time getting increasingly rattled by the scale of fees extracted and whether their ads are actually seen by the real people they are targeted to,” he said.

“We survey our members regularly on issues that they would like us to offer more training on. Everybody in the industry is talking about ‘programmatic’ (there are about a dozen industry conferences on it this autumn alone) so it’s only natural that advertisers feel they should know more too.

Media owners, agencies, trading desks, demand side platforms and tech providers all have roles to play in education, though too many find it easier to ‘scare the horses’ with ‘geek-speak’ rather than communicate in plain English.  This will have to change.“

Research finds retargeting can be a turn-off

Careless retargeting executed by ad tech firms more interested in swelling their bottom lines, as opposed to performing a consumer service, are damaging their advertisers in the eyes of consumers that are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with just how much brands know about their online behaviour, according to research published by InSkin Media and Rapp Media this week.

He findings revealed that 55% of consumers are put off buying an item they have previously expressed an interest in online, if they are retargeted with ads multiple times after initially researching it.

Meanwhile, only 10% of 1,600 20-60 year-olds are more likely to buy an item after being served multiple times with ads for products based on their prior surfing behaviour.

Facebook changing its PMD programme

Facebook this week announced it is altering its altering its preferred marketing developer programme (PMD), with a rebrand to Facebook Marketing Partners that recommends third parties by areas of expertise.

The new structure also helps businesses find partners with expertise in particular countries and industries.

The new structure gives partners one badge to signify that they meet or exceed Facebook partner standards. It also organises partners based on specific areas of expertise:

  • Ad Technology: Scale and optimise Facebook ad campaigns
  • Media Buying:1 Find top Facebook media expertise
  • Facebook Exchange (FBX): Extend the reach of exchange buys to include Facebook Exchange via Facebook partner DSPs
  • Community Management: Access advanced technology for managing Pages and conversations
  • Content Marketing: Create, curate and serve up content easily
  • Small Business Solutions: Find a range of services and/or technology tailored for small and locally-based businesses
  • Audience Onboarding: Bring your internal data and audiences onto Facebook
  • Audience Data Providers: Access external data and put it to use on Facebook
  • Measurement: Gain critical data and insights across your campaigns