One-Quarter of Premium Video Ad Views Occurred on Mobile Devices in Q1


Source: FreeWheel [download page]

Notes: Premium digital video ad views continue to migrate to devices outside of desktops and laptops, per FreeWheel’s latest quarterly report, with strong growth in particular coming from smartphones, which accounted for 17% of overall views, more than double a year earlier. OTT Devices also demonstrated rapid growth year-over-year, though their 8% share was consistent with the previous quarter.

In other study results:

  • Authenticated viewing accounted for 57% of long-form and live monetization for programmers (MVPDs) in Q1, more than double the 25% share from a year earlier;
  • OTT devices continue to represent the second-largest share of authenticated ad views, at 19% in Q1;
  • Overall video views grew by 40% year-over-year and video ad views by 43%, driven by live and long-form viewing;
  • Tablets and OTT devices continue to be used primarily for long-form (20+ minutes) and live viewing, with the opposite true for desktops/laptops and smartphones; and
  • Ad completion rates were almost as high for post-roll (72%) as for pre-roll (73%) videos.
By: Dr. Augustine Fou Friday, May 22nd, 2015 digital No Comments

Pay-TV, Broadband Subs Continue Moving in Opposite Directions


Source: Leichtman Research Group (LRG)
Notes: Although the pay-TV subscriber market continues to be larger than the broadband subscriber market, that gap continues to narrow, per the latest data from LRG. The results indicate that the top broadband providers – representing roughly 94% of the market – added about 1.2 million subscribers in Q1 2015, bringing their total to 88.5 million. Cable companies had a particularly strong quarter, with a net gain of slightly more than 1 million subscribers, their largest net add since Q1 2008.

By comparison, they didn’t fare so well with pay-TV subscribers. Indeed, the top 9 cable companies shed roughly 60,000 video subscribers in Q1, though that wasn’t much worse than in Q1 2014, when they lost around 50,000. Overall, though, the top pay-TV providers (representing about 95% of the market) had a weak first quarter, adding only around 7,000 subscribers overall. That’s despite this being traditionally a strong quarter: last year, these providers added more than 250,000 video subscribers in Q1.

Indeed, the top telephone providers (+140,000) had the fewest net adds since Q4 2006, while the top DBS companies (+52,000) had the fewest of any first quarter since LRG began tracking the pay-TV market.

By: Dr. Augustine Fou Thursday, May 21st, 2015 digital No Comments

Ad blocking start-up has the potential to tear a hole right through the mobile ad industry

Ad blocking on mobile has been possible for a while — with services like Adblock Plus and TrustGo allowing users to control the amount of advertising they see on apps and the mobile web. But a new Israeli start-up called Shine claims to have backing from the major wireless carriers, which could seriously threaten the mobile advertising industry.

There are some 144 million active ad blocker users around the world, a number that grew 70% between 2013 and 2014, according to PageFair and Adobe.

The rise of ad blocker usage clearly have the potential to seriously damage publishers’ online revenue — advertisers won’t pay for ads that aren’t served.

But for mobile carriers, ads can actually be a hindrance. Roi Carthy, chief marketing officer at Shine, told Business Insider that the standard app or website pings an antenna up to 50 times a minute — it’s called background signaling. Bandwidth is one of the most expensive pieces of infrastructure for a telecommunications company to operate.

It’s expensive for users too: Shine estimates that, depending on your geography, ads are using up 10-15% of user’s data plans (and not to mention sucking up battery life, and making load times slower.)

Shine mobile ad blocking

Shine originally started its life in 2011 as a company devoted to creating mobile anti-virus software. The company has raised $3.3 million in funding to date, has 25 staff, and is based in Israel.

Its investors include Horizons Ventures — which is owned by Li Ka-shing, the billionaire chairman of Hutchinson Whampoa, the huge conglomerate that owns the “3”-branded mobile carrier, which operates across Europe, and also the company that has a stake in carriers in Asia including Hutchinson Asia Telecommunications. It also invested in a number of technology companies Facebook, Spotify, and Siri. Shine is also funded by Initial:Capital, which is an early stage investment firm, where Carthy is managing partner.

It was only recently that Shine pivoted to look at ad blocking

Carthy said: “What we discovered redefined malware, and ad tech. That doesn’t mean it has to be malicious, but [ad tech] behaves like malware. The tech and methodology is the same, [but in the case of advertising] it’s more about targeting.”

And so Shine’s ad blocking technology was built.

The ad blocker — or ad-controlling technology as Carthy sometimes calls it — aims to block ads across all mobile display, apps, and mobile video ads. It won’t siphon out “native” ads on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and BuzzFeed, however as these are an “intrinsic part of the user experience,” Carthy says.

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By: Dr. Augustine Fou Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 news No Comments

Ad Injection: Yet Another Challenge for Online Advertising


The digital media world is battling ad fraud, ad blockers, and ads that aren’t viewable. There’s another, less-talked-about challenge: ad injection.

Ad injectors are computer programs that insert ads — or replace existing ones — on Web pages as users browse the Internet. If users add a toolbar to their browser, for example, there’s a chance that software might “inject” extra ads into the pages they visit, even if those pages don’t regularly feature ads. Wikipedia’s pages might be covered in banners, despite the fact they don’t usually carry advertising.

David Cheskin/Zuma Press

Many users aren’t aware that the software they add to their browsers might behave this way, and say it’s detrimental to their browsing experience. According to Google, the software can also pose serious security and privacy risks.

Ad injectors are also problematic for online publishers because they allow marketers to place impressions on their sites and alongside their content without paying them to do so, potentially costing them ad revenue.

Even the sites of retailers and other companies are affected.

Google says it has received more than 100,000 complaints about ad injectors appearing in its Chrome browser since the beginning of 2015 alone. To better understand the scale of the problem Google, in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley and Santa Barbara, created an ad injection “detector” and placed it across Google sites for several months in 2014 to identify “tens of millions of instances of ad injection.”

In total, Google said 5.1% of page views on Windows and 3.4% of page views on Mac showed signs of ad injection software during its study. It tracked ads from more than 3,000 brands appearing through ad injectors, including Sears, Walmart, Target, Ebay and others. The companies could not immediately be reached for comment.


The research also unveiled the “tangled web” of ad networks and middlemen that profit from injected ads, Google said.

“Everybody has known about ad injection, but we’re finally getting an idea of how many parties are involved and that there isn’t a simple solution to handle this,” explained Kurt Thomas, a research scientist at Google.

For example, ad injection software is often distributed by a network of affiliates that bundle it with popular downloads or hide it in malware. Then, middlemen called “injection libraries” help fill the newly created ad space by selling it on to advertising networks, which may then resell it to other networks and ad exchanges, which in turn sell it on to marketers or agencies that purchase ads on their behalf.

It’s a complicated chain that often results in ads for major brands being displayed on major publisher sites without the consent of users.

“We want to shed light on this issue so publishers can take action,” Mr. Thomas said.

Google itself says it’s attempting to combat the issue by cracking down on deceptive extensions for its Chrome browser. It’s also telling advertisers about the practice, and sharing the names of some of the companies involved. During its study, Google found 77% of all injected ads passed through one of three ad networks.

“We strongly encourage all members of the ads ecosystem to review their policies and practices so we can make real improvement on this issue,” a blog post from the company read.

As with many of the challenges in the online advertising ecosystem, however, fixing them is much harder than identifying them.

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By: Dr. Augustine Fou Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 news No Comments

Video Consumption, Ad Dollars Continue to Favor TV Over Digital

Source: eMarketer

Notes: While TV’s share of adults’ daily media time has shrunk slightly in the past couple of years, the medium continues to pull in a disproportionately high share of ad spending, according to new eMarketer estimates. This year, TV is expected to account for 36.4% of adults’ daily major media time, while raking in slightly more than 40% of media ad dollars. And while consumption of – and ad spending on – digital video has been rising quickly, digital is expected to pull in just 4.4% of ad spend versus its 10.9% share of adults’ media consumption this year. The disparity may be related to the greater perceived influence of TV advertising; eMarketer attributes TV’s continued strength as part inertia and part concern from advertisers over digital video ad viewability and completion rates.

By: Dr. Augustine Fou Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 news No Comments

The Darknet-shopping robot has been released by Swiss police


After spending a couple months in Swiss robot prison, the Random Darknet Shopper (RDS) is once again free to purchase random goods from the deepest corners of the Internet. The robot, originally designed as an art installation, was built to navigate the Darknet and autonomously purchase goods using Bitcoin currency. During its three-month run at Kunst Halle St Gallen art gallery in St. Gallen, Switzerland, the Shopper made a variety of purchases, most of which were completely legal. It did, however, also purchase 10 tabs of ecstasy from online retailer Agora, which is what instigated the authorities to step in. The cops confiscated the machine and the Molly. They also threatened the RDS’ creators with legal action. However, a panel of judges ruled in favor of the artists, known as the Mediengruppe Bitnik.

“In the order for withdrawal of prosecution the public prosecutor states that the possession of Ecstasy was indeed a reasonable means for the purpose of sparking public debate about questions related to the exhibition,” the duo recently wrote on their website. “The public prosecution also asserts that the over-weighing interest in the questions raised by the artwork «Random Darknet Shopper» justify the exhibition of the drugs as artefacts, even if the exhibition does hold a small risk of endangerment of third parties through the drugs exhibited.”

By: Dr. Augustine Fou Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 news No Comments

Do Millennials Actually Use Smartphones for Shopping? – eMarketer


Millennials have made smartphones a totem of their generation. Even as smartphone penetration climbs among older consumers, millennials are the ones making the most of the device’s capabilities.

In important respects (like social networking), smartphones now surpass computers as the locus of millennials’ digital lives. But the phone’s degree of importance to them is not uniform across all digital activities, with transaction of purchases among the laggards, according to a new eMarketer report, “Millennials and Their Smartphones: How Many Have Them and What They Do with Them.”

It is increasingly common to see millennials with smartphone in hand as they navigate a store, or using it to conduct research before getting there. Learning! what su its them and what does not, they have integrated the phone into some aspects of their shopping while (so far) omitting it from others.

By: Dr. Augustine Fou Thursday, April 16th, 2015 news No Comments

US Adults Spend 5.5 Hours with Video Content Each Day – eMarketer


Adults in the US will spend an average of 5 hours, 31 minutes watching video each day this year, according to new figures from eMarketer, and digital video viewing across devices is driving growth. In 2011, time spent with video on digital devices—PCs, mobile devices and other connected devices including over-the-top (OTT) and game consoles—totaled 21 minutes daily. This year, US adults will spend an average of 1 hour, 16 minutes each day with video on digital devices.

Meanwhile, the average time US adults spent watching video programming on televisions totaled 4 hours, 35 minutes in 2011 and will decline to 4 hours, 15 minutes in 2015. In total, time spent with video on all devices is up from 4 hours, 56 minutes in 2011.

“The increas! e in ove rall screen time highlights the complexity of today’s media ecosystem,” said Paul Verna, senior analyst at eMarketer. “While so much debate has centered on a supposed tug-of-war between TV and digital video, the reality is that digital video is growing not at the expense of TV, but because video content is more popular than ever. We might spend less time watching on the main screen, but we’re no less interested in TV programming, and in fact, we seek out more of it every year.”

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By: Dr. Augustine Fou Thursday, April 16th, 2015 news No Comments

Personalized Ads Lift Brand Favorability, Purchase Intent – eMarketer


Shoppers want retailers to provide a personalized experience across channels, and November 2014 research by IPG Media Lab and Yahoo found that personalized ads boosted brand favorability and purchase intent among the more than 5,000 US internet users ages 16 and older polled.

Location-based ads were the most effective at improving brand favorability; 55% of respondents exposed to such placements were favorable to the brand. Across all ad types studied by IPG and Yahoo, including those based on social media sites accessed! , search activity and past purchases, at least half of respondents said personalization made them think more positively about a brand, vs. 46% who said the same about standard ads with no personalization.

Meanwhile, ads based on social media sites accessed had the biggest influence on purchase intent, with just under half of respondents saying so. Around four in 10 said the same about location, search and past purchase ads, compared with 36% who said standard placements lifted intent to buy.

Results from December 2014 polling by the e-tailing group for MyBuys support the idea that personalized ads boost intent to purchase. Fully 52% of US digital buyers said they were more likely to engage or purchase from a new brand when they saw online ads for products they were interested in based on browsing or buying behavior, and just under half (49%) said they bought more from retailers that personalized online ads promoting offers and products from websites they visited. One-third said they bought more from retailers that served such ads on social.

By: Dr. Augustine Fou Thursday, April 16th, 2015 news No Comments

Digital to Grab More than One-Third of Ad Spending in Canada – eMarketer


Digital media—and especially mobile—is gaining an increasing share of total ad spending in Canada, according to eMarketer’s latest estimates of ad spending around the world. More than one in three ad dollars in Canada will go toward digital media buys this year, eMarketer projects, and over one in 10 ad dollars will go specifically toward mobile.

 Overall, eMarketer expects the paid media market in Canada to increase by 5.0% in 2015. Digital ads will grow at three times that pace, and mobile ads at 13 times that pace.

Outdoor will be the only other medium to increase faster than the average, with radio, TV and print all set to lose share due to slower-than-average growth.

Search dominates the digital ad market in Canada, accounti! ng for a forecast 53.5% of all spending this year. That share is down slightly and will continue to drop slowly throughout our forecast period, though search will maintain a majority of digital ad spending. Classifieds will also see a slight drop in share. Display, meanwhile, will gain market share, while email holds steady.


By: Dr. Augustine Fou Thursday, April 16th, 2015 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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