Publisher’s Next 30 days: What to do about the Chrome Ad Blocker Release Feburary 15 2018

At ResponsiveAds our mission is to make it fast and easy to produce awesome creative that users want.  How do you do that in a world where ad blockers are becoming mainstream. As the free web has been built by a business model of advertising, sponsored and marketing content it is hard to believe that all of the ad business with just evaporate when the industry is seeing YoY growth in digital spends and the transition of offline traditional media dollars to digital.

On Feb 15th,  With Google’s own ad blocker in Chrome, they plan to eliminate the need for users to install other ad blockers with a solution to the “bad” ad problem.  As one of the largest advertising companies, it is in their best interest to deliver a solution that works.  Between Google and Facebook alone a majority of the digital media dollar spend is through their networks.

The promise with this new ad blocker is to follow the standards laid out by the CBA “ Coalition of Better Advertising”  The spec can be found here at https://www.betterads.org/standards/.

The key messages we find for Publishers is to follow these three common-sense principles:

  1. Limit anything that animates, moves or plays video.  With sound, it must be muted with to user-initiated trigger only.
  2. Eliminate anything that covers the content.  This conversation is good for websites and your applications (e.g mobile iOS or Android apps)
  3. Work with ad tech companies that prioritize load performance and high-quality creative
  4. Less-is-more approach by developing a few high earning positions, instead of as many small multiple square ad slots all over the page that gives ad clutter.

As a first of many posts to come,  Here is a quick summary of three starting options we have available for your digital responsive ads:

[1] Employ Responsive Native and Flexible Formats: Develop and work with better ad formats that fit-more natively on the page and the content.  Native Ads have been a success, but we believe they can be taken to a much more rich, dynamic, immersive and interactive level with creative delivered from tools such as ResponsiveAds Narrator™ Studio.   We believe to get the fastest loads and the best performance it is imperative to keep ad sizes under 200K

[2] Better Placement Strategies:  As you must kill your Pop-ups or ads that cover the content, develop strategies such as these positions.

  • Top Edge-to-Edge Responsive Expandables:  These are your most premium positions when the prestitial and interstials must be eliminated.
    • 1×1 placement in the top header of the content.  The ad can push down to a nice height ( from 300~600H) for high-impact with a certain frequency cap for users, and then close-up (66~90H) or disappear.
    • Top 970×250 IAB Slot to have similar expandables that can go edge-to-edge or even just and edge-to-edge Responsive banner
  • Develop edge-to-edge placements: In the top and middle leader placements with Page-Scrollers™, Edge-to-edge parallax units and also dynamic expandables
  • Immersive First: Leverage solutions such as carousel galleries, engaging gamified content or highly immersive creative approaches that bring some value to the end-user.  The ResponsiveAds platform enables designers to embed anything they want as long as the loads are light.  When deploying video units assure that there is a progressive delivery system to optimize the performance of the video.

[3] Scrutinize the animation and develop rich-engaging creative:  When building out ads with animation, we have found that subtle animation that flows for only several seconds is better than the 5~10 sec animated banners. The attention span of the user scrolling down the page in many cases is even less than 2 seconds unless they are reading an article and the ad is a companion.  Even if this is the case, you never want to interrupt the user, but bring value to your readers with engaging strategies.

As there are only 30 days left till the Chrome Ad Blocker update with hit millions of users.   Time is now to get this right.

Happy Planning….

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(Screen) Size Matters: Is Responsive Web Design the Solution for Changing Screen Size Use?

People are increasingly using larger screens at home and work, and more and more people are replacing laptops with tablets. These changes illustrate how important it is for publishers to embrace Responsive Web Design and Responsive Advertising solutions.

According to a report from research firm IDC, sales of desktop and laptop PC computers dropped a dramatic 14 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a year ago, following the release of Windows 8. It was only expecting a 7.7 percent drop. We think this study shows that it is key for publishers to implement cross-screen monetization strategies.

“Instead of buying new laptops or desktops, people are buying tablets and smartphones, which serve as good-enough alternatives,” says a report from Business Insider.

Gartner also released its own report focusing on PC sales. It says that overall PC sales dipped 11.2 percent, and the trend of consuming content on smartphones and tablets is increasing.

While consumers are increasingly turning to smartphones and mobile devices, businesses have been utilizing them too, but they have mixed reactions.

According to a report in The Financial Times, “Tablets can cause corporate headaches,” businesses like the idea behind tablets because they’re cheaper than desktops or laptops, but often times they’re too complicated.

A portion of the article reads: “Adapting legacy workforce applications to be accessible from tablets can be very expensive. These need to be much simpler to use and robust – for example, not prone to cutting out if the user is on a train that enters a tunnel or enters a lift.”

Publishers, too, are increasingly switching screen sizes for newsroom and sales force uses.

Randy Parker, managing editor of the York Daily Record in Pennsylvania, recently spoke at America East 2013, a conference of newspaper tech and operations executives. He explained that 14 of his newsroom staffers now have iPads, and most editors and reporters have smartphones. In addition, his photographers are now using Nexus 7-inch tablets.

Kim Wilson, president and publisher of South Bend Tribune, said her sales team takes their iPads on the road with them, it saves them a lot of time, and allows them to pull up information on the road for advertisers.

Mel Taylor, founder of Mel Taylor Media, talked about how he launched BrigantineNow.com after Hurricane Sandy to provide aggregated information to the area. He used WordPress to create the site, and he chose a template that uses Responsive Web Design.

“Although the reduction in shipments was not a surprise, the magnitude of the contraction is both surprising and worrisome,” said David Daoud, IDC research director, Personal Computing, in a news release. “The industry is going through a critical crossroads, and strategic choices will have to be made as to how to compete with the proliferation of alternative devices and remain relevant to the consumer. Vendors will have to revisit their organizational structures and go to market strategies, as well as their supply chain, distribution, and product portfolios in the face of shrinking demand and looming consolidation.”

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MediaShift Idea Lab: Why Media Sites Should Adopt Responsive Design

We were mentioned in this article….

DOES RESPONSIVE DESIGN AFFECT ONLINE AD INVENTORY?

Yes. More screen sizes mean more ad sizes, which means you could have more ad inventory to fill. Ad Networks such as ResponsiveAds.com are taking the lead by encouraging sites to sell their ad inventory in packages that include the full spectrum of mobile and standard-display ad sizes. Many sites are tackling this issue on their own and tasking their developers to create responsive ad spaces using clever CSS configurations.

See on www.pbs.org

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Is Native Advertising Blurring the Line Between Content and Advertising?

On March 26, Paul Adams (@Padday), global head of brand design at Facebook, sent out this tweet:

This post triggered a controversial discussion on Twitter over whether all content is advertising or all advertising is content and vice versa. Here is the conversation:

We can understand how the implementation of native advertising, ads that runs in-stream with editorial content, can blur the line between content and advertising. After all, nobody can agree on the definition of native advertising industrywide.

We know that all content is not advertising. However, all advertising is content. The FTC recently updated its “Dot Com Disclosures” to state that all online ads, even ones in tweets, much be marked as such in the content of the ad.

Digiday recently asked a slew of publishers what they think the definition of native advertising is. Here are their responses:

Ryan Manion, CTO, Politico
It’s still being defined. You want to provide the advertiser with the best experience you can and also provide the best experience for the users who want to view those advertisements.

Will Pearson, president, Mental Floss
Native advertising is about taking what the advertiser is wanting to communicate and integrating it with what our users are expecting.

Matt Sanchez, CEO, Say Media
Native advertising is anything that takes on the form of the medium.

Tom Cochran, CTO, Atlantic Media
It’s similar to TV or movies. It’s a way to promote the content of our advertisers in a way that’s more ingrained way that’s built into the design of our properties.

Carolyn Bekkedahl, svp of digital media revenue, Meredith
Advertising that stems from a brand that is more than just one piece of creative. It can be video or text that robustly describes whet a product or service an advertiser has.

Mary Mucko, president of digital sales, Gannett
When we’re able to take advantage of the platform the advertiser’s on.

As we have previously mentioned, our perspective is that native advertising is Responsive Advertising plus scale.

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Should Publishers Implement Facebook Exchange?

Retargeting

 

While the majority of advertisers still have not used FBX, the social network’s real-time bidding exchange for serving retargeted ads, data shows Facebook is taking an ever-greater share of these impressions.

See on www.emarketer.com

Facebook Exchange (FBX), the real-time bidding platform that launched in 2012, partners with retargeting companies such as AdRoll to let advertisers purchase and deliver retargeting impressions on Facebook.

AdRoll partnered with Facebook early on after the launch of the Exchange. According to eMarketer, Facebook Exchange is increasing in popularity, and AdRoll alone has more than 700 brands advertising on the Facebook platform. Overall, the number of retargeted clicks Facebook has seen is rising.

The click-through rates for FBX ads was 40 percent less than other web retargeting ads, but the price per click came in at 80 percent lower than on Facebook.

“There’s still plenty of upside for Facebook retargeting advertisers, however. Cost per impression (CPM) and cost per click (CPC) were both significantly lower on Facebook, proving that the social site does offer some substantial monetary benefits, along with ride reach,” the summary from eMarketer says.

ResponsiveAds’ Insight:

Is the Facebook Exchange social re-targeting ad network the Trojan Horse for Facebook’s global monetization strategy?

Facebook has developed a plug-in for publishers’ websites so they can track readers’ behaviors. However, publishers aren’t the only ones who can track users’ behaviors. Facebook can, too.

The social network can place the most relevant ads on the page, but the publisher needs to open up their inventory to Facebook Exchange. This could be the first step toward programmatic premiums.

In addition, Facebook likes screen-shifting, and mobile is part of that bundle. It can be delivered to any screen at a premium CPM.

We think that ad currencies should not be based on channels, but rather the value of the ad impression at that particular moment and time. It’s no longer about the size or shape of the ad — it’s the ad’s effectiveness.

We believe that having one ad that transforms to match the RTB environment of DSPs and exchanges is the best way to go.

One option is to upload different creatives and SWAP them out for different sizes and shapes. The other choice is to have your brand agency on the dashboard, communicating in real time through the ad, just like Twitter.

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Why is ResponsiveAds the Answer for Native Advertising?

HowDoYouDefineNativeAdvertising.png

For most — including the Atlantic, Politico, Gannett and others — it’s about fitting the ad into the site experience.

 

ResponsiveAds‘ insight:

What is native advertising, and what does it mean for publishers? Digiday recently asked publishers for their definitions of “native advertising.” Answers ranged from – it’s still being defined to creating an advertising experience that doesn’t disrupt what the user is expecting.

We think that ResponsiveAds is the answer for native advertising because:

  • It provides the best design of ads onto publisher websites;
  • It can be used like The New York Times has designed Riccochet, which was launched last April and allows advertisers to select articles from their archive to attach ads to for a specific period of time. Riccochet provides a unique URL for articles that have these advertisements;
  • Incorporating sponsored content allows publishers to incorporate ads “in stream,” eliminating disruption of the reader’s website experience and flowing with the rest of the editorial content; and
  • It’s focused on brand marketing versus direct response.

See on www.digiday.com

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Senator Rockefeller’s ‘Do Not Track’ Campaign

“Online companies are collecting massive amounts of information, often without consumers’ knowledge or consent…My bill gives consumers the opportunity to simply say ‘no thank you’ to anyone and everyone collecting their online information. Period.”

— Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W. Va.

ResponsiveAds’ insight:

Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia is re-introducing the Do Not Track Act, which would mandate online companies to ask consumers if they want to opt-out of tracking of online activities, according to a report on Adweek.com. We couldn’t agree more with the senator.

“Online companies are collecting massive amounts of information, often without consumers’ knowledge or consent … My bill gives consumers the opportunity to simply say ‘no thank you’ to anyone and everyone collecting their online information. Period,” Rockefeller said in a statement.

The Adweek article says that since Rockefeller originally introduced the bill in 2011, most of the advertising industry has decided itself to provide the option for consumers to opt-out of receiving advertisements. However, Rockefeller said that companies can’t be trusted.

Even though 90 percent of the advertising industry is already following these rules, we think Rockefeller’s bill is a necessity in order to crack down on the remaining 10 percent.

It is our belief that website visitors should have complete control over which online advertisements they want to receive.

When we look into our crystal ball, we see a future where free digital subscriptions will let visitors receive responsive ads with coupons, if they wish. However, it is critical that they are given the choice to opt-out. Even if online companies did send information to website visitors they didn’t want, the consumers wouldn’t likely read it anyway.

Our team has extensive experience with maps and location-based services, and one of the many things we have learned is that the user needs to always be in control.

Always.

See on www.adweek.com

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Responsive Advertising = Native Advertising + Scale

“Perhaps the definition of scale is the quality of advertising produced and the impact of the experience. Native means premium, which means cost. It’s not about getting a deal. Those that position themselves this way are going to charge more and perhaps rightfully so.” — Appssavvy CEO Chris Cunningham

 

ResponsiveAds’ insight:

“What is native advertising?” Responsive advertising minus scale.

Believe it or not, this is a question that some digital ad industry execs are asking at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Annual Leadership Meeting in Arizona this week, according to Adweek.

Native advertising is “in-stream” content that blends in with the editorial content of a site, but it is marked as such (for example, “sponsored content”).

According to the Adweek report, many meeting attendees rolled their eyes at the mention of native advertising, comparing it to advertorial found in print, making the point that it’s nothing new.

Appssavvy CEO Chris Cunningham said during the panel: “Perhaps the definition of scale is the quality of advertising produced and the impact of the experience. Native means premium, which means cost. It’s not about getting a deal. Those that position themselves this way are going to charge more and perhaps rightfully so.”

We agree with Cunningham that definition of scale is quality of advertising produced, and responsive advertising is all about bringing quality ads to audiences no matter the screen size.

Sponsored content works effectively on responsively designed sites because “native ads’” shapes and sizes are flexible and can easily adapt to different screen sizes since it is part of the overall editorial flow of a site.

Another point worth making is that native ads are executed in real time so they blend in with context and the moment. When it comes to pricing models, they are similar to CRM; however, they have a social tail.

We like the fact that native advertising focuses on converged media — owned, earned and paid — a key aspect of responsive design. It is measured by brands’ effects instead of direct responsive.

However, native takes the responsive out of direct “responsive” for brand value, yet keeps the ResponsiveAds.

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New York Times looses paywall for Starbucks customers …Responsive Location Based Ads?

 

Would it be convenient to get Responsive location based ads in your Free New York Times digital newspaper in Starbucks?

Fans of The New York Times will be pleased to hear that starting today, you can read up to 15 articles for free on NYTimes.com whenever you connect to the Internet in Starbucks.  Coffee … Just when the paywall proved to be profitable as well?

ChartOfTheDay_886_circulation_revenue_of_the_new_york_times_n

ResponsiveDaily‘s insight:

This is big news!  Why,  well when a publisher like the NYtimes drops its paywall there is one thing that comes to mind…. Advertising.  As Starbucks has a Responsive Web Design strategy ( see http://starbucks.com)  and they are so central to the location of the context of that moment you grab a coffee.  Just think of that reference point for all of the advertisers around you.   Usually, somebody makes a pit-stop at Starbucks to get a coffee…. Clear their head before getting back on with their plans for the day.  A good time for engagement advertising that is location specific around you with Starbucks location as the anchor point before you head into that retail store.

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4 Ways Publishers Can Convince Advertisers That HTML5 Responsive Ads are a Better Value

HTML5 Advertising and Responsive Web Design as the perfect match for publishing ad revenue
HTML5 Advertising and Responsive Web Design as the perfect match for publishing ad revenue

 

Recently, in some of our customer implementations we were able to see several clear ways for publishers to communicate the value proposition to their advertisers.

When publishers with direct sales switch their websites to responsive design, they need to create – or have created — HTML5 responsive ads for businesses and media buyers. Those advertisers are going to need to be convinced that HTML5 responsive ads are worth the value. Since it’s still early days for responsive advertising, clients may be skeptical at first.

Here are four ways publishers can convince advertisers HTML5 responsive ads make sense for them in this multi-screen world:

1. Show Advertisers Examples

Nothing makes for a better presentation than showing ad examples specifically for the business the publisher is meeting with. When publishers visit a potential client, they should bring as many devices with different screen sizes as possible. This way the business can view exactly how their HTML5 responsive ads would appear on a variety of screen sizes.

We are working with a publisher that has had a long tradition of selling  print media ads to their local advertisers. Even though the ad sales team has migrated to selling digital, selling mobile has not been as straightforward.  

Reasons include:

  • Mobile was less then 20 percent of the overall inventory;
  • Mobile traditionally required a separate mobile strategy such as a mobile landing page or new creative as well as specialized ad-serving;
  • Figuring out how to best price mobile versus other channels;
  • Determining the value of the mobile ROI to that brand; and
  • Complicated mobile web, mobile app, SMS, QR codes, and other things that can be done with mobile.

However, when the publisher mentioned above showed the advertiser an example of a responsive ad STRETCHing, they said to us, “Wow, it was magical. The advertiser could immediately see how they could have that same ad work across the entire site.”

2. Present the Facts

Reveal your website analytics to potential clients. These will provide proof that your audience consumes the news on computers and devices with different size screens. Explain to them that HTML5 responsive ads work hand in hand with responsive design and provide the optimal user experience, resizing to screens with different resolutions.

What is really clear is that mobile traffic is exploding. We have found sites that are hitting a higher-age demographic get up to 20-25 percent of their traffic on mobile. Sites that cater to younger demographics are seeing traffic up to 30-40 percent and growing. It is fair to say that we are starting to see a 50/50 in mobile versus desktop now (when tablet is included), and it is only going to go higher.

3. Works with Mobile First and Mobile too

Tell potential advertisers that HTML5 responsive ads are future-friendly. The reality is that more and more people are reading the news on mobile, but at the same time, those same people are reading it on multiple devices. As news consumption is going down on desktop computers, mobile is rising, and responsive embraces both mobile-first and mobile-too strategies.

One of the key aspects that makes mobile special is that the mobile device is with consumers all the time. That contextual relevancy of having ads that can be responsive as well when users are on the go, or in a relevant location, becomes more and more important.

4. Emphasize Bundles

Bundles allow publishers to provide potential advertisers with packages of HTML5 responsive ads, instead of just a single slot. American businessman Mark Cuban once said, “People like bundles. People don’t like to work for their entertainment. They’ll pay a premium if it saves them time.” We think this idea translates into the advertising world.

“Bundles”  just makes the entire process easier for you (the publisher) and the advertiser when they are responsive ads.

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