Twitter says ad tech and product updates will improve direct response advertising

marketingland | February 06, 2020

Twitter reported ad revenues grew by 12% year-over-year to $885 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. U.S. ad revenue increased by 21% year-over-year on Thursday. Total revenue, which includes $123 million from data licensing and other sources, increased by 11% year-over-year to $1.01 billion, passing the billion-dollar mark in a quarter for the first time. Audience growth. Monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) grew 21% year-over-year to 152 million, up 3% from the previous quarter. US mDAUs also grew to 31 million, up 15% year-over-year and 3% from the third quarter of 2019. “More than half of the 26 million mDAUs we added in 2019 were directly driven our improvements to the core product,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said on the earnings call Thursday morning.

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Facebook advertising is predicted to hit US$4 billion this year, which is twice the volume of 2010 spending according to eMarketer. While brands are rapidly investing in the space, they lack comparative experience to assess how well their campaigns are performing. Webtrends has analyzed over eleven thousand campaigns to provide performance benchmarks brands can use to evaluate their own campaign performance.


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Aniview Renews Partnership with HUMAN to Continue Safeguarding Its Video Ad Platform From Sophisticated Bot Attacks

Aniview, HUMAN | March 09, 2022

Aniview (https://www.aniview.com/), a global video technology company playing a central role in delivering digital advertising for publishers, and HUMAN (https://www.humansecurity.com/) Security Inc., a global leader in collective protection against sophisticated bot attacks and fraud, renew their partnership to help Aniview protect its customers’ inventory from sophisticated automated cybersecurity risks. This further strengthens the two companies’ partnership, empowering publishers and advertising networks on the Aniview platform continued access to HUMAN’s MediaGuard advertising fraud product. Twenty-twenty-one was a tumultuous year (https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/96496-ddos-attacks-and-botnets-in-2021-mozi-takedowns-and-high-frequency-attacks-reshape-the-threat-landscape) for botnet attacks, with PARETO (https://www.humansecurity.com/newsroom/human-formerly-white-ops-together-with-newly-formed-human-collective-and-industry-leaders-google-roku-announces-discovery-and-disruption-of-pareto-ctv-botnet), a highly sophisticated fraud operation, amassing an army of nearly one million bots to target CTV ad-ecosystems via mobile apps. The botnet used dozens of mobile apps to impersonate or spoof more than 6,000 CTV apps, accounting for an average of 650 million ad requests every day. PARETO used sophisticated techniques to hide its identity across the ecosystem, but was ultimately discovered and disrupted by HUMAN and the Human Collective in April 2021. By renewing its partnership with HUMAN, Aniview is able to successfully identify and further eliminate threats of this nature from within its platform. The successful exposure of PARETO was enabled by Aniview’s dedicated approach to implementing HUMAN’s guidance, including adopting all industry anti-fraud standards across their platform and installing a dedicated quality leader. It has also better prepared Aniview and its customers for further cybersecurity challenges for the road ahead, placing it on stronger footing for the next generation of ad fraud attacks from bad actors. “We’re incredibly pleased to continue our successful relationship with HUMAN,” says Alon Carmel, CEO of Aniview. “We’re incredibly pleased to continue our successful relationship with HUMAN,” says Alon Carmel, CEO of Aniview. “The unearthing of PARETO was a great indicator of the work we’ve achieved together in mitigating such attacks, and our partnership will no doubt mature even further in the coming years.” “Aniview has demonstrated how best to be successful in the wake of an ever-evolving digital ad fraud adversary,” says Alessandro Pireno, Vice President of Product for MediaGuard at HUMAN. “Their approach in light of the PARETO takedown is a blueprint for how the industry needs to collaborate in the fight against ad fraud. They were decisive and dedicated while leveraging the collective knowledge in adopting industry standards to defeat this sophisticated threat.“ Today, HUMAN verifies the humanity of more than 15 trillion digital interactions per week, offering enterprises a platform with unmatched visibility into fraudulent activity across the internet. HUMAN achieves this scale through its continued expansion in cybersecurity, now offering a suite of products to protect the complete digital customer journey: BotGuard for Applications, BotGuard for Growth Marketing, MediaGuard, Bot Insights Services. With new partners and enterprises now able to leverage the Human Verification Engine™, comes an even deeper understanding of the cybercrime landscape. This enables HUMAN to adapt continuously, staying ahead of adversaries and offering their clients collective protection against threat models they have yet to encounter. HUMAN and MediaGuard are registered trademarks of HUMAN Security, Inc. About Aniview Aniview is a global video technology company whose platform is playing an increasingly central role in delivering efficient and effective video advertising across the open web. The company’s end-to-end solutions are highly flexible and transparent, and they operate on desktop, mobile, inApp, connected TV and over-the-top formats. Aniview’s patented video player technology, high-performance ad server and video marketplace provide flawless video delivery to over 200,000 publishers worldwide and power many of the world’s largest web publishing groups. Founded in 2013, Aniview now delivers, on average, 25 billion ad impressions per month. For more information, visit https://www.Aniview.com. About HUMAN HUMAN is a cybersecurity company that safeguards enterprises and internet platforms from sophisticated bot attacks and fraud to keep digital experiences human. Our modern defense strategy enables internet-class scale and observability, superior detection techniques and hacker intelligence & takedowns empowering us to defeat your attackers, improving the digital experience for real humans. Today we verify the humanity of more than 15 trillion interactions per week for some of the largest companies and internet platforms. Protect your digital business with HUMAN. To Know Who’s Real, visit www.humansecurity.com.

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Postclick Raises $20 Million Funding Round, Launches the Future of Digital Advertising Conversion

Postclick | April 12, 2022

Postclick will use the funding to support the company’s evolution from an agency model to a full technology-led SaaS solution that will continually develop new innovations as an advanced partner to the marketing industry. The funds will also advance Postclick’s machine learning and artificial intelligence offerings, as well as deepen the company’s penetration into vertical markets. Until now, Postclick was available to limited customers and by invitation only. With this additional funding and pilot customer feedback, the Advertising Conversion Cloud™ is now openly available. By implementing the platform, marketers across industries can now drastically cut down on wasted ad spending and increase conversion moments. “In the past decade, marketers wasted $870 billion on digital ad clicks that didn’t convert,” said Mark Mckenna, CEO, Postclick. “In the past decade, marketers wasted $870 billion on digital ad clicks that didn’t convert,” said Mark Mckenna, CEO, Postclick. “So far, marketers have only scratched the surface of optimizing digital journeys to create better conversion experiences. Our evolution from an agency model to a tech-enabled solution enables us to increase conversion rates and return on advertising spend for our clients at a much greater scale.” Capabilities being introduced on the Postclick Advertising Conversion Cloud™ include: Strategic Expertise: CRO experts complete a deep dive into the client’s brand and current campaigns. They build out an initial “core experience” based on the brand guidelines, audience segments and conversion storytelling, which kicks-off the cycle of automated experimentation and optimization. Scalable Creation: Based on a vast data set of over 20 billion data points from landing pages and conversion events over the last decade, the Postclick Advertising Conversion Cloud™ applies machine learning to make layout and content recommendations for landing pages based on clients’ industry and use case. Postclick’s machine learning capabilities dramatically speeds up landing page production and accuracy for conversion moments, enabling the expert conversion team to achieve strong ad-to-page relevance quickly. Experimentation: The AI-driven platform generates different landing page variations based on clients’ core experiences, then uses a Multi-Armed-Bandit testing methodology to dynamically scale traffic to the winning variations. The page with the lowest conversion rates is replaced by a new variation and a new testing cluster is formed. The winning variation continues to be updated based on real-time data and ongoing experimentation. Continual Optimization: The Postclick Advertising Conversion Cloud™ is constantly running experiments on clients’ core experiences, using machine learning to continually optimize pages and ad spend for the strongest possible conversion rate. Each testing phase builds on the last, using network-wide insights to inform future experiments. Network-Wide Learnings: Machine learning tracks every test 
and result across the entire platform, spanning multiple industries, consumer bases and conversion goals. Clients benefit from machine learning tests and experiments across the platform. This enables an entire community of marketers to improve their results based on a continuous stream of real-time conversion data. Postclick’s proprietary platform, the Advertising Conversion Cloud™, was built from a Series A fund raise and now contains data from millions of custom landing page experiences and billions of ad clicks. Postclick’s Advertising Conversion Cloud™ technology delivers the future of digital advertising success by using data-driven UX, modular component libraries and insight from conversion rate experts to drive infinite optimization. As a result, marketers can now leverage the science of conversion data and the power of AI to effortlessly create high-performing post-click experiences at scale. “The Postclick team is partnering with marketers to take back their share of the billions wasted on non-converting digital ad clicks,” said Hunter Sunrise, SVP, Marketing, Postclick. “Our clients are among the most innovative brands in the industry, and are enjoying increased conversions and a boost in customer acquisitions, all while lowering their cost-per-conversion.” Demand for post-click solutions continues to grow as forward-thinking companies turn to Postclick’s platform, including BetterHelp, HUM Nutrition, theSkimm, and Liquid Death. About Postclick Postclick is the world’s leading solution for digital advertising conversions, creating optimized, scalable digital experiences that increase Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS). Combining personalization, optimization, machine learning, and human insight, Postclick guarantees higher conversions for marketers. Check out postclick.com for more information.

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Facebook Small Advertisers Win Class-Action Status in Fraud Suit

Meta | March 31, 2022

A lawsuit accusing Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook of overstating its advertising audience got a lot bigger Tuesday when a court expanded the pool of plaintiffs to include more than 2 million small ad buyers. Dismissing what he called a “blunderbuss of objections” by the company, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that the case can proceed as a class action on behalf of small business owners and individuals who bought ads on Facebook or Instagram since Aug. 15, 2014. The decision is another setback for the social networking giant after court filings in 2021 revealed that its audience-measuring tool was known by high-ranking Facebook executives to be unreliable because it was skewed by fake and duplicate accounts. Facebook’s lawyers argued in filings that the social media company has made “updates” to improve its user estimates. They also pushed back against the request for class-action status, saying the ad buyers didn’t show that all class members uniformly relied on the metrics to increase their spending and had ad budgets of various sizes. “It may be that class members differ in advertising budgets and scope of purchases, as Meta suggests, but Meta has not shown that these differences” make the case unsuited to be a class action, U.S. District Judge James Donato said. “It may be that class members differ in advertising budgets and scope of purchases, as Meta suggests, but Meta has not shown that these differences” make the case unsuited to be a class action, U.S. District Judge James Donato said. User metrics have also been at the heart of challenges against other social media companies. LinkedIn is facing a suit accusing it of inflating video-viewing metrics to lure and overcharge advertisers. Snap Inc., the parent of the Snapchat social media app, was sued in 2017 by a former employee who claimed the company was inflating growth metrics ahead of its initial public offering. The case was moved into closed-door arbitration and court records don’t indicate how it was resolved. In 2019, Facebook agreed to a $40 million settlement of a class-action suit brought by advertisers who claimed they overpaid for video ads based on overstated video-viewing metrics shared by the company. The current case was filed in 2018 by an e-commerce business that spent more than $1 million on ads and a seller of firearm accessories who spent around $350. Facebook executives, including Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, knew the user metric called “Potential Reach” shown to digital ad buyers to help them set their target audience and budget was inflated and “not based on people,” the advertisers said in their complaint. As a result, advertisers ended up buying ads at a premium price, they said. “For years Facebook repeatedly confronted a choice between telling customers the truth or preserving its revenue: at every turn, Facebook chose its revenue,” lawyers for the ad buyers said in a court filing. Meta didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling. The case is DZ Reserve v. Meta, 18-cv-04978, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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Maryland approves the first state tax on digital ads from Facebook, Google

Facebook | February 16, 2021

Maryland has approved the country's first tax on the revenue brought in from digital advertisements placed by companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon. On Friday, the State Senate voted to override the governor's veto of the measure following a similar vote from the House of Delegates, The New York Times reports. The measure is expected to generate as much as $250 million in its first year. There do appear to be legal risks to the measure, which will likely face stiff challenges in court over how much governments can tax social media and technology giants. Both opponents and analysts cautioned that the bill could run afoul of both the First Amendment and federal regulations preventing discriminatory taxes on internet companies, The Washington Post reported in January. The Maryland tax specifically applies to digital ads that are displayed within the state. It's also levied based on the ad sales that a company generates. Companies that make at least $100 million to $1 billion a year will be taxed at a 2.5% rate. Companies that make more than $15 billion — which includes Facebook and google — will face a 10% tax on digital ad revenue. In addition to Silicon Valley lobbyists, other opponents of the bill include Maryland Republicans, local media outlets, and telecom companies. Those opponents say that the cost of the bill could be passed along to small businesses that buy advertising. But state governments, which have been hurting during the pandemic, see similar bills as a way to refill the coffers. Legislators in Connecticut and Indiana have already introduced similar measures to tax social media giants. The tax legislation is just part of a growing debate about the dominance and power of technology giants. In the U.S., companies like Facebook and Google are facing multiple antitrust lawsuits. Antitrust legislation introduced at the federal level could target those companies, as well as Apple. The measures in the U.S. also follow in the footsteps of governments in Europe, which have introduced both new restrictions and new taxes on American and other technology giants. Although antitrust laws and regulations could spillover and affect Apple, the Cupertino tech giant doesn't rely on advertising revenue. Instead, the bulk of the money it makes comes from sales of hardware and services.

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Spotlight

Facebook advertising is predicted to hit US$4 billion this year, which is twice the volume of 2010 spending according to eMarketer. While brands are rapidly investing in the space, they lack comparative experience to assess how well their campaigns are performing. Webtrends has analyzed over eleven thousand campaigns to provide performance benchmarks brands can use to evaluate their own campaign performance.

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