AT&T, with Videology, to Sell Programmatic Ads on Linear TV

AT&T has partnered with ad technology company Videology to introduce a “private marketplace” for a handful of select advertisers, who will be able to buy linear TV ads reaching 26 million households. Beginning in Q3, advertisers can use their own data and data from third parties to reach targeted audiences on cable networks on AT&T’s U-verse service or DirecTV, which AT&T acquired last year for $49 billion. Advertisers will be able to purchase ads via a self-serve website, although the back-end will operate manually. Continue reading AT&T, with Videology, to Sell Programmatic Ads on Linear TV

Amazon Announces Alexa Voice-Controlled Household Devices

Internet retailer Amazon introduced two new Echo-related products yesterday: the $130 Amazon Tap — a smaller, portable version of the Echo; and the $90 Echo Dot — a hockey puck-size version of Echo, minus the powerful speaker. As is the case with the newly popular Echo, users interact with both devices via the Alexa voice service. Amazon Tap features a rechargeable battery and uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect with mobile devices and the Internet. The Dot, which connects via wire or Bluetooth, is designed to provide Alexa for existing speaker systems. Continue reading Amazon Announces Alexa Voice-Controlled Household Devices

Facebook Puts Live Videos on Top, to Add Celebrity Content

Facebook took a step to popularize Live, by changing the algorithm to rank currently streaming videos higher in the News Feed than older ones. The company launched Live for celebrities in August, and then rolled it out to people with Verified Profiles and Pages. All iOS users gained access in January and Android users last week. Although Facebook Live videos can be saved, unlike Periscope videos, which are deleted after 24 hours, Facebook realized that Live videos convey an urgency that will make them more watched. Continue reading Facebook Puts Live Videos on Top, to Add Celebrity Content

Amazon Expands its TV Footprint, in Talks on Skinny Bundles

AMC Networks chief executive Josh Sapan and ESPN president John Skipper have both spoken recently about discussions with Amazon to include their channels in possible skinny bundles for the Internet. Amazon has gone on record as considering the idea for some time, but hasn’t responded to Sapan and Skipper’s remarks. Amazon isn’t the only online entity that might be hawking TV service soon. Turner Broadcasting chief executive John Martin reveals that he’s talking with six or so new companies looking to do just that. Continue reading Amazon Expands its TV Footprint, in Talks on Skinny Bundles

Networks Test Sponsored Content and Fewer 30-Second Ads

On Monday, NBC tested out a new concept: airing more content and fewer ads. Sponsored by American Express, the additional content included “Blindspot” interviews with the show’s creator and stars, and a segment with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb of the “Today” show. NBC isn’t alone; Vice Media has embraced a similar advertising strategy for its new Viceland cable channel. TV networks hurting from ratings declines and cord cutting are taking a serious look at swapping out 30-second spots for sponsored content. Continue reading Networks Test Sponsored Content and Fewer 30-Second Ads

Clear Channel Outdoor Billboards to Track, Identify Passersby

Clear Channel Outdoor Americas inked a deal with AT&T and other companies to enable it to track people, via their mobile phones, who pass its tens of thousands of billboards across the United States. Called RADAR, the new service will, says Clear Channel Outdoor, give advertisers better tools to measure the effectiveness of billboard advertising. RADAR will be offered in Clear Channel Outdoor’s top 11 markets, which includes Los Angeles and New York, with availability across the country later this year. Continue reading Clear Channel Outdoor Billboards to Track, Identify Passersby

Snapchat Inks Deal with Nielsen, Tech Firms to Create Ad Data

Snapchat, with its reported 100 million daily users, is a favorite of advertisers that like the company’s growth and popularity among younger demographics. But those same advertisers have been also been lobbying Snapchat for data on the performance of their advertising campaigns. Now, Snapchat has gone the way of Facebook and YouTube in enlisting measurement stalwart Nielsen to provide that data. Snapchat has also made deals with ad tech companies Innovid and Sizmek to provide even more detailed data. Continue reading Snapchat Inks Deal with Nielsen, Tech Firms to Create Ad Data

Facebook Debuts Canvas for Instant Upload of Media Rich Ads

Facebook debuted Canvas, high-bandwidth ads that load quickly, and without taking users to a mobile site. The instant upload encourages engagement, giving advertisers a better way to reach people, and lets Facebook keep the experience within its pages. A small upwards-pointing arrow identifies a Canvas ad; clicking on the arrow reveals a full-screen with the rich media experience. The alternative experience is when a click on an ad leads to a mobile site that can take five to ten seconds to load. Continue reading Facebook Debuts Canvas for Instant Upload of Media Rich Ads

NBCU Adds First-Time Sales of TV Ads via Programmatic Tools

There’s a sea change at NBCUniversal, which will, for the first time, begin selling some linear TV ad space to advertisers using programmatic tools and advanced data targeting. But the move isn’t as broad as it sounds and requires some parsing. Starting this fall, advertisers will be able to use their own data sets and ad-buying technology to buy on NBC, USA and Syfy. But this isn’t the “real-time bidding” found in digital advertising and marketers won’t be able to cherry-pick individual shows. Continue reading NBCU Adds First-Time Sales of TV Ads via Programmatic Tools

Advertisers Excited About New Reaction Buttons on Facebook

Facebook just began its global rollout of five new social Reactions. Rolling the cursor over the Like button on the computer (or, a long-press on the smartphone) will reveal those options: Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry. As with Like, the bottom of each post will tally the number of Reactions. Although many hoped for it, there will be no Dislike button. While Facebook does not have immediate plans to use these new Reactions for ad sales, advertisers and brands are reportedly excited about the concept. Continue reading Advertisers Excited About New Reaction Buttons on Facebook

Google Takes On Facebook with Faster Mobile News Delivery

Google has updated its mobile search with a fast-loading format, developed with input from various publishers, so that smartphone users can access news articles more quickly. Conducting a Google search will now bring users to a horizontal carousel of articles where each news item will feature a lightning bolt icon and the letters ‘AMP’ (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Clicking on an article will bring it up almost immediately. The new format comes as Facebook is expanding its Instant Articles program in an effort to speed the delivery of news articles and videos. Continue reading Google Takes On Facebook with Faster Mobile News Delivery

Telecoms and Silicon Valley Engage at Mobile World Congress

European telecoms and Silicon Valley giants are jousting again, at the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The major carriers, including Deutsche Telekom AG and Spain’s Telefónica SA are pushing for the European Union to either lift some of the regulations imposed on them or apply similar rules to Internet-based text and voice services, such as Facebook’s WhatsApp or Google Hangouts. At the same time, several telecoms have signed on to Facebook’s TIP project, an open source initiative to design cellular towers. Continue reading Telecoms and Silicon Valley Engage at Mobile World Congress

NBCUniversal Integrates Data Platforms to Hone Ad Targeting

Comcast’s NBCUniversal opened a new division, Audience Studio, to make it easier for advertisers to use data to target audiences across TV, digital and social media. Headed up by data platforms/strategy executive Denise Colella, Audience Studio brings together four different ad buying products that NBCU has unveiled over the past few years. The company is also debuting a new data management platform, that lets advertisers match their own data with NBCU and third party data to create specifically targeted campaigns. Continue reading NBCUniversal Integrates Data Platforms to Hone Ad Targeting

Yahoo Streamlines Online Magazine Project to Trim Work Force

Yahoo chief exec Marissa Mayer has decided to close the company’s online magazine initiative, which was one of her signature projects. Yahoo notified editors and writers at 15 publications that they would be let go. The digital magazines covered topics such as autos, crafts, fashion, food, health, real estate, technology and travel — some of which will be folded into Yahoo News moving forward. Yahoo plans to continue some original content for areas including tech and fashion, but publications covering autos and food lost all their staff. Continue reading Yahoo Streamlines Online Magazine Project to Trim Work Force

HPA Tech Retreat: OTT Metadata an Opportunity for Post Houses

The huge quantities of metadata generated by over-the-top programming poses an opportunity for new revenue streams, said Siemens executive Steve Wong and media tech consultant Christy King at an HPA Tech Retreat panel on “Big Data, Big Dollars for Post in an OTT World.” Wong noted that a tremendous amount of data about a production is generated through production, from scriptwriting software through scheduling and budgeting. That’s why it frustrates him that nearly everyone has been served irrelevant ads online. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: OTT Metadata an Opportunity for Post Houses

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