While publishers combatting the rise of ad blocking can select from a growing number of vendors who address the issue, many of the available solutions are largely the same. One group of offerings is designed to change user behavior. There are generally four methods: asking users to turn off ad blockers, blocking content when ad blockers are present, asking users to pay for content and, finally, gating content until users watch a video or choose what kind of ads they want to see.
Publisher network and ad tech firm Sovrn bought UK-based viewability company OnScroll Wednesday for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock. Sovrn plans to deploy the technology across the 80,000 publishers in its network, according to CEO Walter Knapp. OnScroll creates highly viewable ad units for publishers by analyzing user behavior patterns. So if a user usually scrolls to the bottom of the page, OnScroll will serve a below-the-fold placement. That increases overall ad inventory by 7% to 15%.
In a major change to its Double Click for Publishers ad server, Google will bring in the real-time bids of a publisher’s outside exchange partners to its dynamic allocation product. The feature addresses a key problem that led to the rise of header bidding, essentially doing away with Google's previous policy where it only allowed its ad exchange to compete for each impression. In the past, Google’s ad server merely estimated what an outside exchange could bring in, and did not let them submit bids for every impression. That dampened yield as ad network spend gave way to programmatic. Header bidding solved for DFP’s deficiencies by soliciting bids before the ad server call, finally allowing bidders to compete on actual price, not an estimate.
A group of publishers is testing a header bidding solution from Rubicon Project that is compliant with Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages program. Tribune Publishing is among those who have implemented header bidding for AMP. It's the first time header bidding functionality has been leveraged in support of the "platform publishing" craze that has lately seen publishers export their content to places like Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP.
Rubicon Project’s full-year financials paint a picture of a growing exchange. The company’s managed revenue hit $1 billion in 2015. With a growing take rate, 22.6% for the year, that tallied up to $227.3 million, an 81% annual increase. The amount Rubicon takes from transactions on its exchange increased from 19.3% in Q4 of 2014 to 24.9% in Q4 of 2015. The company said that was due to an increase in RTB impressions and a shift away from static impressions, which represent its older ad network management business.
OpenX unveiled a new product Tuesday, real-time guaranteed (RTG), with features that fall between private marketplaces and automated guaranteed. The aim is to solve drawbacks to each current buying method. One of the biggest complaints about private marketplaces is that they don’t deliver the scale both sides want. And one of the biggest complaints about automated guaranteed is that the buyer can’t use its own data. Real-time guaranteed addresses both grievances.
Revcontent is angling to usurp Taboola and Outbrain in the content recommendation space. The fast-growing network on Monday signed Newsweek to be its exclusive provider of content recommendations. The news follows the Jan. 8 announcement that it had acquired ContentClick, a European native advertising network, to gain a foothold in that continent. In tests, Revcontent tripled the returns it was getting from Taboola, said Etienne Uzac, CEO of parent company IBT Media.
Header bidding is coming to mobile apps, via a solution Rubicon Project is beta testing with 20 publishers. Early results for the product, FastLane, saw CPM increases of up to 300%. Rubicon will release the product more widely to publishers in Q1 of next year.
Sell-side platform PubMatic has dismissed more than 100 employees, AdExchanger has confirmed. The layoffs, affecting 20% of the company's global staff, follow an 8% reduction in October. The combined cuts have reduced PubMatic’s workforce from 600 to about 450.
AppNexus unveiled a publisher suite Wednesday designed to offer an alternative to DoubleClick for Publishers [DFP], the dominant solution in the market. The AppNexus Publisher Suite includes an ad server, completely rebuilt after its acquisition of OAS [Open AdStream] in September 2014, and supercharged with forecasting from its acquisition of Yieldex in March.