Thu 31 Dec 2015 07:42:56 AM PST
Countdown to 2016 (and some links)
No, I'm not going to do predictions for 2016. Here's something a little easier—some things that can't happen.
Adtech will beat ad blocking by cleaning up its act.
This is clearly not going to happen, because the subject of the
sentence is a group of companies, and companies don't
act in the group's interest. Some companies will
always try to get away with pushing the boundaries a
little, and when it comes to cutting back on the bad
we as an industry means Someone
Else Do It.
Matt Sweeney at Xaxis
fewer, more relevant, high-quality ads. Now,
when an adtech dude says
relevant, he means
whatever my company does. Are there going
to be fewer Xaxis ads? Well, no, just fewer of
the other guys'. Now multiply by all the other
adtech firms. Everybody's got the
ads that will displace all the others...right?
Tom Hespos suggested self-regulation of ads that "creep out" users, back in 2010. But it didn't work then, and can't work now. Users don't only visit web sites that participate in self-regulation. People have to set up their personal security tools to deal with the worst sites they encounter. After all, most email marketers don't spam, but users still need spam filters.
Reputable publishers will pay Adblock Plus 30 percent for whitelisting.
Newsroom staffs are shrinking, everyone is stuck writing desperate clickbait because there's no time or travel budget for an enterprise story, stock photos are everywhere—and AdBlock Plus wants 30 percent off the top?
In the news business, publishers sometimes have to face down government agencies, powerful corporations, and organized crime to be any good at their jobs. Adblock Plus doesn't even rate. The creepiest trackers are all in on "Acceptable Ads", but responsible publishers are too forward-thinking (and too squeezed for cash) to cough up.
User targeting will turn out to be where the money is.
The more we learn about web ads, the more we learn that Bob Hoffman had a point. The web is a much better yellow pages and a much worse television.
Marty Swant: Google Says Search Intent Matters More for Marketers Than Users' Identity. Yes, Google is talking up search, where it rules, at the expense of creepy stuff, where it doesn't, but Google does have a substantial investment in user targeting, too.
In 2006, Jakob Nielsen pointed out
much better yellow pages
model works. People have put a lot of time and
money since then into chasing
Holy Grails of putting the right ad in front of the
right person at the right time. But while each
individual user-targeting trick creates a brief
"pop", the long-term trend is a general Peak
Advertising effect for targeted
web ads, while search holds its value.
Adtech will make bank while publishers starve.
Yes, publishers are failing to replace print revenue with web and mobile. (Largely because of bad decisions long ago. Ben Brooks: They Never Even Tried For Value.)
But adtech isn't winning at publishers' expense. Sarah Sluis: With No Exit In Sight, Ad Tech Gets Lean Through Layoffs (via Marketing Land). Michael Eisenberg got this right last year.
Some of these adtech companies are venture backed and others are bootstrapped. In my opinion, the VC-backed ones will struggle to deliver their engineers much of a return. In fact, adtech is a value trap and is the farthest thing from easy money at scale.
Adtech can capture value, but not create it—the more effectively that user targeting works, the more of the signaling value of advertising gets lost.
Adtech will make progress against fraud.
easy money at scale is on the fraud side. A good
recent example is Ponmocup – A giant hiding in the
How bad is it? Bad enough that the IAB puts the numerator and denominator of the fraud ratio in separate press releases. Fortunately, I have a calculator. $8.2 billion in fraud divided by $15 billion in quarterly revenue (times 4 because the bottom part of the fraction is by quarter and the top is by year) and that's about 14 percent fraud.
I still think the 14% is on the low side. If you look at the level of access that malware has, the amount of malware out there, and the complexity of some of the attribution models that brand advertisers are using, it's pretty likely that sophisticated malware is able to avoid conversion-rate-based detection and free ride on real transactions. A user clicks on a search ad, and the attribution model gives some of the credit to a malware-generated impression delivered earlier to the same user's device.
Are attribution models developed with too much wishful thinking about the merits of user targeting, and not enough awareness of potential fraud attacks? We're going to find out.
All right, bonus link time. You probably saw these when they made the rounds earlier, but just in case you're a search engine bot looking for URLs to mark as important, check these out. (More links on the linklog feed for all you RSS fans.) Happy New Year and stuff.
Troy Hunt: How I got XSS’d by my ad network
Sell! Sell!: Nine Ways To Improve An Ad
Doc Searls: What am I doing here?
Help Net Security: Most malvertising attacks are hosted on news and entertainment websites
Tim Peterson: What You Should Know About Yahoo's Malvertising Attack
Felix Salmon: Relax, blocking mobile ads won’t kill publishers
Google Chrome Blog: Protecting users from deceptive inline installation
Ricardo Bilton: What would Kant do? Ad blocking is a problem, but it’s ethical
Bloomberg News: Thousands of apps secretly run ads that consumers never see
Martha De Laurentiis: Marketers: Stop Advertising on Pirate Sites
Nick Bilogorskiy: Huffington Post serves malvertising, again.
Felicia Greiff: 2016 Election Digital Ad Spending Will Break $1 Billion
Pat LaPointe: How to Reach Consumers in Their 'Content Cocoons'
MediaPost | RTB Insider: Are Publishers Trying To Juggle Too Much Ad Tech?
John Naughton: Is this really the beginning of the end for web ads?
Jean-Louis Gassée: Life After Content Blocking
eaon pritchard: digital advertising. where did it all go wrong?
Paul Ellenbogen: Ancestry.com can use your DNA to target ads
Noah Davis: If You Don't Click on This Story, I Don't Get Paid (via The Awl)
Alex Dixie: Technology Alone Does Not Make Great Advertising
Justin Krause: The Web-Tracking Tipping Point
Brad Frost: Living with Bullshit
SysAdmin1138: Paying for the web
Lars Doucet: Ad Blockers and the Four Currencies
Johnny Ryan: Advertising 2.0: why publishers must lead
The Uptake: Ad Blocking and the Who US?? Mentality
Samantha Bielefeld: Ad Nauseam
Yieldbot: Exploding the Lie that People Hate Ads
Massimo: Implied Contract
Baekdal Plus: The Blocking Problem
Baekdal Plus: When Tracking Goes Wrong
Dave Townsend: Delivering Firefox features faster
Walt Mossberg: Mossberg: The Real Trouble With Web Ads
BOB HOFFMAN: The Whining Of The Online Ad Industry
Massimo: A new web ads business that works
Doc Searls: How #adblocking matures from #NoAds to #SafeAds
Kaiser Fung: Why Fraudulent Ad Networks Continue to Thrive
Martin Weigel: The fracking of attention
Cog Blog: Sir Martin Sorrell Moves the Needle
MediaPost | RTB Insider: Is Programmatic Being Used By Big Agencies To Bash The Independents?
BlockAdBlock: The “Acceptable Ads” scheme is completely absurd
Chris Larsen: Malvertising Campaign Hitting Big Name Sites
David Barton: Ad Dodgers through the Ages
Hayley Tsukayama: The newest version of Firefox lets you block online trackers
Aaker on Brands: Is Big Data Killing Your Brand?
Dan LaBelle: Using HubSpot? Ad Blockers Are Costing You Leads
BOB HOFFMAN: The Glorious Revolution Continues
Simon St. Laurent: Blocked!
Idle Words: The Advertising Bubble
Chase Hoffberger: The new kings of YouTube botting
Lauren Johnson, Christopher Heine: We Brought Together the Major Players in the Ad Blocker War, and Here's What They Told Each Other
Ricardo Bilton: Venture capital gives ad tech the cold shoulder
Frédéric Filloux: Ad Blockers Will Change How Ads Are Sold
Marketing Magazine Home RSS Feed: Adblockalypse now: we need a consumer/advertiser treaty
iMedia Connection: All Feed: Look-alike targeting's new frontier
Melissa Yeager: As campaign ads move online, the public gets left in the dark
Fatemeh Khatibloo: Consumer Privacy Attitudes: A 2015 Update
Kenneth P. Vogel: The Koch intelligence agency
Josh Stearns: Why Journalists Need to Stand Up for Reader Privacy
Judy Shapiro: News Flash: Ad-Blocking Is Not Marketing's Fault
Alexander J Martin: Video malvertising campaign lasted 12 hours? Try two months
Adam Roach: Better Living through Tracking Protection
eaon pritchard: to brand or not to brand? is that a question?
Fatemeh Khatibloo: Understanding "Creepiness"
BOB HOFFMAN: Blair Witch, Zappos, Oreo, & Ice Bucket
Feeding the Cloud: Tweaking Cookies For Privacy in Firefox
Massimo: Digital Doesn’t Matter
Madeline Welsh, Joseph Lichterman, and Shan Wang: The mobile adblocking apocalypse hasn’t arrived (at least not yet)
Johnny Ryan: Despite the hype ISP adblocking is a no-go in Europe
Jascha Kaykas-Wolff: Visualizing the Invisible
Shane Goldmacher: Inside the 2016 black market for donor emails
Basil Simon: Love thy reader, securely
Kevin Drum: Don't Blame Ted Cruz for Facebook's Sins