November 21, 2014–comScore released their monthly ranking of U.S. online activity at the top digital media properties for October 2014 based on data from the comScore Media Metrix and the Media Metrix Multi-Platform services. Adblade is listed among the Top 20 Ad Networks Rankings and is the 18th largest Ad Network. To see the rest of the release click here.
November 10, 2014–Quantcast, a leading technology and real-time advertising company, today released a list of the top 20 global ad networks and platforms with public Quantcast Measure profiles. At the top of the list was Rubicon Project, with a reach of 544 million people globally in October. The list, which can be found at www.quantcast.com/inside-quantcast, is the first in a quarterly series. It includes representation across the advertising ecosystem, from ad exchanges, such as OpenX, to platforms focused on specialized ad units, such as GumGum.
“The Top Global Ad Networks and Platforms List provides insight into the makeup of the global online advertising ecosystem and the power that Quantcast Measure brings to ad networks and platforms for validation and demonstration of their audience composition and reach,” said Jag Duggal, senior vice president of Product Management for Quantcast. “At the top of the list are supply-side platforms and ad-exchange platforms that connect buyers and sellers globally.”
“Premium publishers and Web applications are increasingly adopting advertising automation technology to help them reach audiences globally,” commented Gregory R. Raifman, president, Rubicon Project. “Ranking No. 1 on the Quantcast list is proof that Rubicon Project is the top choice for those who seek unprecedented global reach and scale.”
Adblade, a content advertising platform, also lands in the top five, demonstrating the wide adoption of content-based advertising. Ash Nashed, founder and CEO of Adblade, commented: “Quantcast has been a very valuable tool for us over the years and has helped us demonstrate our rapid audience growth and quality to both advertisers and publishers across the U.S. and worldwide.”
Online video is represented by SpotXchange and AnyClip, both video advertising platforms. Ad networks continue to play an important role: J Carter Marketing, engage:BDR and IDG TechNetwork are just a few examples that appear in the top 20.
The Top Global Ad Networks and Platforms List demonstrates how the infrastructure for digital advertising has expanded globally. Nine of the 20 entities reached the majority of their audiences outside of the U.S. Using Quantcast Measure, ad networks and platforms can track their global reach, as well as gain insight into their audience composition.
The Top Global Ad Networks and Platforms List draws from ad networks and platforms that are directly measured by Quantcast Measure and have chosen to share their traffic profile publicly. Entities are ranked by their global 30-day people number, which is a modeled number that represents the unduplicated audience reach across an entity’s Web and mobile Web properties. The Top Global Ad Networks and Platforms List only includes entities that work with third-party publishers to monetize their inventory with advertising. Publishers that sell advertising, but exclusively against their owned and operated properties, are not included.
Quantcast is a technology company specialized in real-time advertising and audience measurement. As the pioneer of direct audience measurement in 2006, Quantcast has the most in-depth understanding of digital audiences across Web and mobile, allowing marketers and publishers to make the smartest choices as they buy and sell the most effective targeted advertising on the market. More than 1,000 brands rely on Quantcast for real-time advertising. As the leader in Big Data for the digital advertising industry, Quantcast directly measures more than 100 million Web destinations, incorporates over 1 trillion new data records every month and continuously processes as much as 30 petabytes of data every day. Quantcast is headquartered in San Francisco and is backed by Founders Fund, Polaris Venture Partners and Cisco Systems. For more information, visit www.quantcast.com.
November 3, 2014–Despite the media’s progress in defining native advertising, ambiguity surrounding whether it’s an honest or misleading is still prevalent in the headlines. It’s this confusion that has drowned out the industry’s progress in promoting transparency as a sales vehicle.
In order to understand what’s going on, let’s take a step back and reexamine the definition of native advertising. Simply put, native advertising is paid media that intentionally blends into content in which it appears.
One of the most prevalent examples of this type of advertising is Facebook’s news feed ads. The “sponsored posts” organically flow through a consumer’s news feed as the reader scrolls down through their friend’s posts, comments and photos. The way in which the ad content is structured, as a post, blends right into the way the Facebook news feed content is meant to be consumed.
The most basic type of native ad unit is the image plus text which is foundational to native advertising. Other variations on this format do exist including video ad units, sponsored articles (sometimes called advertorials, which is a throwback to the magazine era) and just plain text.
A common cause for confusion surrounding native advertising is the purpose or goal of the ad. Since native ad units can come in different format, it’s perfect for selling various products, services or promoting different types of content. Sometimes it’s selling a product directly, sometimes it’s touting a brand’s message, or it’s sending the reader to other content. The flexibility of native advertising is both one of its strengths and its weaknesses.
Three of the best ways to keep native ads clear, honest and straightforward are:
Disclose, disclose, disclose
Native exchanges still somehow use vague language in their disclosures today and hide ad notification icons or at best make them barely visible. For example, the popular “You Might Like” heading over a group of native ads can cause confusion– consumers infer that the content appearing is just that, editorial content when in fact, it’s sponsored content.
The ad icons often used are not well known either. What is the point of a disclosure if it doesn’t actually notify the consumer that they are looking at is paid media? Make sure the exchange you are using clearly labels the disclosures. Ask them to see how your ad will appear on a website.
Ensure that your native ad network uses clear language
Language such as “Offers and Articles from Around the Web” prepares the consumer for the mix of ads and sponsored content that they will encounter if they click on one of the native ads. An example of vague language is Chipotle’s sponsorship of Huffington Post’s Food For Thought Blog. The brand appears around the page in some of the articles and in the opening of the blog, but doesn’t make it well-defined that it was sponsoring the content.
It was AdWeek that actually helped to make the sponsorship clear to the media and the rest of the world.
Extend proper disclosure practices to landing pages
Even when a consumer can distinguish native advertising from editorial content, then engages with the ad, there can often be confusion when they get to a landing page. Any native ad exchange network worth their salt will always review and approve advertisers’ landing pages. If yours isn’t compliant, guess what shouldn’t be advertising.
Better disclosure leads to better business results, period. Advertisers can benefit from better engagement if they extend the practice of proper disclosures to their landing pages.
The best example out there now is BMW’s Medium blog partnership. Medium’s page clearly conveyed BMW as the sponsor of content, which intertwined functional design and inspired art, perfectly fitting in with the content. BMW is prominently featured as the sponsor, but the content is the hero that demands all the attention.
If we all work towards the goal of keeping consumers better informed and helping them make better decisions by distinguishing editorial content from ads, engagement will rise and more meaningful business results will be achieved. Bottom line is, we all win.