Here’s what happened this week in the world of video advertising. For a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.
Turn and TubeMogul Slug it Out Online
While it’s almost a standard industry practice for ad tech vendors to run down their competitors behind closed doors, the gloves came off this week as Turn and TubeMogul duked it out online with a couple of highly entertaining blog posts. First, Turn posted a short article titled ‘One Platform to Smoke them All’, which made several claims about TubeMogul’s platform, mostly taking aim at the fact they’re a video specialist (whereas Turn also offer display, social and mobile).
However, TubeMogul replied with a blog post that took issue with three of the claims, including:
1. “TubeMogul is just one of many inventory suppliers for TURN…” (TubeMogul say they have never supplied inventory to Turn);
2. “TubeMogul owns and buys their own inventory.” TubeMogul say that approximately 5 percent is pre-purchased, but only to secure access to premium inventory for advertisers, who they say usually choose to buy the inventory themselves.
3. “TubeMogul is taking 71 cents for itself out of every advertiser’s dollar”; TubeMogul said it was a ‘fundamental misunderstanding’ of how they recognise their revenue. The response also stated, “The majority of the spend across our platform comes from our “Platform Direct” business, where we recognize revenue based on a percentage of client spend, meaning we charge a fee that is a percentage of every dollar advertisers spend using our platform. That technology fee is what we recognize as revenue and it DOES NOT include the cost of the media – advertisers’ spending goes directly to buying impressions from publishers. Our technology fee has a small percentage of Cost of Revenue associated with it,which is why our financial statements show high margins. In other words, the majority of every dollar spent by our clients goes to purchasing media, not to us.”
Facebook and Reckitt Benckiser (RB) Sign a $100 Million Deal
Facebook and RB (formerly Reckitt Benckiser), the health and hygiene giant, announced that they have entered into a multi-year, $100 million global partnership. However, the deal will go far beyond just media spend and the two companies have committed to integrating members of their global sales, marketing and creative teams to promote RB brands on Facebook. The companies will also hold joint recruiting events at ‘key universities’ to secure the right people. The Facebook and RB dedicated teams will work together initially in the U.S., UK, Canada, Italy, Brazil, India and Australia.
Rocket Fuel Bought X+1
Rocket Fuel acquired X-1 for an estimated $230 Million this week, giving the company access to a DSP and a DMP. However, the news was soured by the announcement that its 3Q revenues would be in the range of $96-$100 million, below consensus estimates of $109 million by 11.2 percent. The reasons given were that ‘advertiser commitments were weak’ (due to poor inventory quality), and a ‘tighter control of client spend.’ The company’s shares fell 23.4 percent in after-hours trading as a result of these forecasts, although some analysts believe the share price is likely to rally.
comScore Acquired MdotLabs to Battle Bots
ComScore announced it has acquired MdotLabs to enhance its non-human traffic (NHT) detection methods. MdotLabs say they use a variety of cyber-security techniques such as signal processing, statistics, machine learning and applied math to identify malicious activities including bots, click farms, pay-per-view networks and a growing list of traffic generation techniques.
DailyMotion Partners with FC Barcelona
Dailymotion have signed a deal with FC Barcelona so its player will be the exclusive player on its website. Barcelona will also launch a new channel on Dailymotion.
Ad of the Week, Johnnie Walker, ‘The Gentleman’s Wager’