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21May/150

How the Cloud is Transforming TV Across All Screens

This post is part of DoubleClick's Evolution of TV series. In this series we identify the risks and opportunities around 7 dynamics transforming the advertising landscape as TV programming shifts to delivery over the Internet.

Recently, at the National Association for Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas, we released the fourth installment of our Evolution of TV series where we explore the impact of the cloud on TV's transformation. The premise of this new whitepaper is that everything we know about TV delivery and viewing is about to change.


Everything from the way we watch TV to how it's distributed is changing. The delivery and production of the TV content we're viewing—and sometimes binge-watching on so many screens—is on the cusp of industry-wide innovation as TV delivery shifts from over the air, satellite, or cable to the internet. To support TV programming over the internet, those responsible for delivering the content—the programmers and distributors—are beginning to migrate their operations to a more flexible, agile environment: the cloud


In this new whitepaper we explore a few of the cloud migrations happening in specific areas of the TV business like:
  • Subscription services
  • Transcoding and encoding
  • Broadcast automation
  • Stream packaging
  • Signal distribution between partners
  • Signal acquisition between partners
  • Storage and archiving


In short, migrating TV to the cloud not only affords programmers and distributors cost savings and efficiency but also enables innovation that could change TV as we know it today into a far more dynamic, personalized, and addressable medium.


Download the PDF to get the entire scoop on how parallel transformations in other industries show us that the cloud will encourage innovation and necessitate agility for programmers and distributors, as well as create a vastly different viewing experience for users.



Anish Kattukaran,

Product Marketing, DoubleClick Video & Brand Measurement

19May/150

A call to action: Stopping digital advertising fraud

A lot of ink has recently poured onto the subject of digital advertising fraud—which is a great thing. Fraud is a real and serious problem, but some, we think, still hold a mental image of fraudsters as one-off bad actors sitting in a dark room racking up clicks on ads on their site to make a few extra bucks. The truth is far more troubling: the majority of ad fraud today is perpetrated by sophisticated organizations that devote vast resources to build and operate large scale botnets run on hijacked devices, to reap multi-million dollar payouts [1,2].
Stopping these bad actors requires an industry-wide, long term commitment to identifying and filtering fake traffic from the ecosystem. This is not a task any one company can take on alone. We need everyone across the industry to take steps toward making digital advertising more secure and transparent. Here are some actions we’re taking to help move the entire industry forward. (We hope others join us.)
Describing threats in common, precise language
Many of the statistics and headline-grabbing disclosures in the market today do a great job of creating panic, but share very little detail to help anyone actually solve the problem.
Imagine if police officers looking for a bank robber could only describe the criminal as “suspicious”. The robber would be free for life. And yet this is disappointingly how advertising fraud is policed today. “Fraud” and “suspicious” are seen as synonymous and applied to everything from completely legitimate ad impressions to fake traffic generated by zombie PCs infected with malware. Before we can stop advertising fraud, everyone needs to start using common, precise language to disclose fraudulent activity.
The IAB introduced its Anti-Fraud Principles and Proposed Taxonomy last September providing the industry with this common language and we strongly support these standards. But these are early steps – as an industry we can’t stop there. When fraud is identified it should be shared in a clear structured threat disclosure, mirroring how security researchers release security vulnerabilities. By increasing the amount of data we share in a transparent, helpful way, others in the industry will be able to corroborate any claims being made, remove the threat from their systems, removing it from the ecosystem. Further, if a public disclosure could lead to further damage, then vulnerable parties should be notified in advance.
Ensuring bad actors can't hide: Supplier Identifiers
If you bought a designer scarf in a store only to find out it’s a knock-off with a fake label, you’d expect a refund. You’d also know which store to avoid in the future. The same should hold true for fraudulent inventory. When fraud is identified, it should also be possible to identify the seller or reseller who should take responsibility for the inventory. 
Today this doesn’t hold true. As an illustration of the problem, we are currently finding significant volumes of inventory misrepresenting where the ads will actually appear and in many instances there is no reliable and verifiable mechanism to identify who in the supply chain is responsible for this misrepresented inventory.
To address this problem, we propose that the buyer of any branded (non-blind) impression should be passed a chain of unique supplier identifiers, one for each and every reseller (exchange, network, sell-side platform) and one for the publisher. With this full chain of identifiers for each impression, buyers can establish which supply paths for inventory can be trusted and which cannot. If a buyer finds a potential issue, and it’s clear where the problem lies in the supply path, then there should be an unambiguous process for refunds. It will also be easy to avoid this supply path in the future.
Ultimately the burden for ensuring the quality of online inventory starts with those who sell it. To this end, we submitted a proposal to create an industry managed supplier identifier to the IAB Anti-Fraud Working Group in February, and we’ve heard others in the industry support this call for more transparency. We've come to take this type of guarantee for granted when we shop in a store – let's work together and make it a standard for digital advertising as well.
Cleaning up campaign metrics
Before investing your hard-earned money in a local business, you’d definitely review their financial reports to understand if it’s a good investment or not. In digital, campaign metrics are the record of truth. They help advertisers evaluate which inventory sources provide the greatest value and outline a roadmap of where ad spend should be invested. But if these metrics are polluted with fake and fraudulent activity, it’s impossible to know which inventory sources provide the best return on spend.
Now, imagine if you invested in that small business only to find out it was actually a fictional front created by an organized crime ring, complete with receipts and a cashier, to cover up their back office money laundering operation. Fraudsters work hard to disguise their bot traffic as being human by having them do things like go window shopping or plan a vacation to create a whole world of made-up conversions and interactions before directing them to their final destination.
As long as fake traffic still appears to be delivering value, advertisers’ spend will continue flowing to the operators of fake traffic sources. Of course our industry should push for 100% fraud free ecosystem. The reality, though, is that some will likely always slip through. When it does, it's also our responsibility to keep it from skewing marketers' metrics. If we can keep reporting systems from giving credit to fake traffic, this removes the incentive for publishers to buy this bad traffic from bad actors.
As an industry, we owe it to our clients and ourselves to ensure that metrics are clean and accurate. Let’s work together to identify fraudulent traffic and invest in systems to filter it out of campaign metrics. 
A fraud-free ecosystem?
Advertising fraud is a real and serious problem, one that creates significant costs for advertisers, takes revenue from legitimate publishers, and enables the spread of malware to users, among other harms. To eliminate it, we must take action to remove the incentive for bad actors to create and sell fraudulent traffic. The steps I’ve outlined above seek to do this by cutting off their access to advertising spend and making it difficult for fraudsters to hide.
Over the coming months, we’ll be taking these steps and working with the industry to help others clean bad traffic from the ecosystem. 
Posted by Vegard Johnsen, Product Manager Google Ad Traffic Quality

9May/150

How Many Video Ads are Actually Seen? New Infographic and Research for Video Viewability Across the Web and on YouTube.

If an ad isn’t seen, it doesn’t have an impact, change perception, or build brand trust. That is why measuring the viewability of advertising matters. It gives marketers a clear understanding of campaign and messaging effectiveness and allows advertising spend to be allocated to the media where it will have the most impact.

We have long been advocates of viewability as a currency between buyers and sellers, which is why we’ve had viewable-only buying on our network for more than a year and have been investing in our Active View technology.

As a continuation of that effort, today we are releasing new Active View data from across our Google, DoubleClick and YouTube video ad platforms. This new research on the 5 factors of video viewability is being published today on Think with Google to start the discussion about the state of video ad viewability.

In this research we found that only 54% of all video ads served across the web, excluding YouTube, had a chance to be seen! On YouTube 91% of ads were found to be viewable.

As advertisers shift to paying for viewable video ads, rather than served impressions, understanding the drivers of viewability for video ads is more important than ever.

To learn what viewability is and how it is measured, visit our new interactive Active View demo here.

-
Sanaz Ahari, Group Product Manager, Brand Measurement
Michael Giordano, Product Marketing, Brand Measurement
Anish Kattukaran, Product Marketing, Video & Brand Measurement

17Apr/150

TrueView coming to DoubleClick Bid Manager: User choice meets programmatic

Cross-posted from our DoubleClick Advertiser blog.

Today at Programmatic I/O in San Francisco, we are announcing our latest investment to help brands make the most of digital: the TrueView ad format will be available for programmatic buying within DoubleClick Bid Manager.


This launch brings together two important trends we’re seeing: the importance of user choice in advertising and the ability to reach the right person at the right time with programmatic buying.

We introduced TrueView, an innovative cost-per-view (CPV) ad format, five years ago as a way to put user choice at the heart of brand advertising. With TrueView, viewers choose to engage, and brands only pay when they do. Today, the format is a brand mainstay, representing 85% of all in-stream ads on YouTube. And based on a recent study, we’ve seen that two-thirds of TrueView campaigns deliver significant lift in brand interest.

In parallel, programmatic buying has evolved from just a real-time bidding tool for direct response campaigns to an important technology and data-driven solution for brand building. Across our own platforms, we’ve seen the volume of programmatic transactions double year-over-year. With the consumer journey now fractured into many "micro-moments" across screens, programmatic can help brands understand and reach their audiences across devices and formats.

In the coming months, marketers and agencies will be able to buy the TrueView choice-based video ad format on a cost-per-view (CPV) basis through DoubleClick Bid Manager. This is the first time TrueView has been available outside of AdWords, allowing DoubleClick clients to take advantage of features like cross-campaign frequency capping, unified audience insights, measurement and billing across campaigns.

Some of our partners are already seeing success:


"At Netflix, we have always embraced consumer choice. In the advertising world, TrueView is the epitome of that choice. The fact that we can now scale it further via DoubleClick Bid Manager represents a powerful new channel for marketing our content across the world." 
Mike Zeman, Director of Digital Marketing, Netflix



“TrueView has empowered us to give our consumers greater choice while delivering a better engaging viewer experience. As an early adopter of the TrueView beta in DoubleClick Bid Manager in the UK we have seen great success in achieving our CPV goals.” 
Nestlé UK


“We’re really excited to bring TrueView on DoubleClick Bid Manager into our video campaign arsenal. This deepens our ability to achieve client success metrics on highly relevant and viewable video inventory combined with universal controls around targeting, frequency management and reporting.” 
Ian Johnson, EVP and MD, Global Product at Cadreon



“TrueView in DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) allows us to strengthen our branding offering while benefiting from significant efficiency gains. Once we can leverage DBM’s capabilities such as 3rd party audience targeting and universal frequency capping, we will have a very powerful value proposition for advertisers.” 
Ali Nehme, Managing Director Digital, Vivaki Middle East and North Africa


This adds to our ongoing investments to help brands get the most out of the programmatic landscape like Google Partner Select, Active View, Verification and brand safety protections. We're committed to providing the most complete programmatic platform to our brand partners to help them connect with their audiences in all the moments that matter. Stay tuned for even more in the months to come.

-
Neal Mohan, Vice President of Display and Video Advertising Products


14Apr/150

Announcing new ways for TV providers to manage cross-screen, addressable digital video advertising

It's an exciting time for broadcasters. With the proliferation of streaming video, OTT devices, connected TVs and mobile devices, the line between offline and digital video is quickly blurring. Navigating this change, though, is tricky--broadcasters are now facing the challenge of how to manage an ads business that spans multiple devices and multiple ways of consuming content. We’ve been working on a few initiatives to help broadcasters with this challenge, I had the pleasure of introducing a few of these at the NAB Show this morning.

Better TV forecasting in DoubleClick for Publishers
One of the biggest challenges broadcasters face in this new landscape is accurately being able to forecast their inventory for their shows. What was once a fairly straightforward process--estimating how many ads they could show during a given program though one delivery method on one screen--now looks like a logic puzzle on steroids. 

Broadcasters now need to take into account the unpredictable nature of viewing habits on multiple screens, seasonality, spikes and fluctuations in traffic (e.g. for NCAA finals), different devices, ad loads, not to mention all of the new data that is available with digital.  How do you even begin to tell an advertiser that you can deliver on their campaign goals if the math is just this complicated? And especially as broadcasters plan for the upfronts?

To help them meet this challenge, we're introducing new ways for broadcasters to forecast in DoubleClick for Publishers by enabling them to forecast available internet TV inventory with greater precision and insights and the impact from patterns in commercial breaks. And coming soon, broadcasters will be able to use seasonality in forecasting for upfront cycles and model based on their offline data. Our goal with these changes is to make it easier for our broadcast partners to manage this process and put together great inventory packages for their upfront offerings.

mDialog inventory comes to the DoubleClick Ad Exchange
Last year, we acquired a company called mDialog with expertise in dynamically delivering ads to internet-delivered TV content (like streaming video, OTT devices and connected TVs). We’ve been working to bring their technology together with ours. Thanks to this work, we’ve now connected mDialog inventory to the DoubleClick Ad Exchange. This means that TV providers will be able to monetize TV inventory across OTT devices (like Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TB), across all screens, programmatically. 

Partners like Fox News are already seeing success with this new feature:

'With more and more of our viewers consuming content across screens, digital video is, of course, a huge focus. Google bringing the mDialog technology to the DoubleClick Ad Exchange has allowed us to connect our Internet-delivered television content, whether live programming or full-episode shows with the controls we need to programmatic demand. This is a great step forward both towards being able to better monetize this cross-screen content and providing a great ads experience for viewers. We're excited to see where this goes."
- Zach Friedman,
VP of Digital Ad Sales at FOX News Channel & FOX Business Network

Investing for the future

We're experimenting with additional models, like linear TV, as well. As just one example, we're running trials of addressable ads into linear TV set-top boxes via our Google Fiber service in Kansas City. Powered by DoubleClick technology, we are helping local businesses connect with customers in that market by delivering more relevant messages to viewers.

Continuing to explore the evolution of TV
In our ongoing DoubleClick series on the Evolution of TV, we've been discussing the risks and opportunities around 7 dynamics transforming the advertising landscape. In Part 3 in our Evolution of TV series (find the rest of the series here) we dispel the hype about programmatic TV, address the challenges, and concentrate on its promise for brand advertisers, programmers, and broadcasters.

Download the new whitepaper from Think with Google for the in-depth story.


Ultimately delivering addressable ads whether across TV ads served via the internet or through the set-top box is about delighting users with the best viewing experience. It's a technology that everyone in the industry can get behind. Advertisers have always wanted the customization, programmers and distributors have always wanted it to maximize the value of every impression and viewers appreciate more relevant ads. Addressable TV is a win-win-win proposition.

Posted by Rany Ng, Director of Product Management, Video

10Apr/150

Programmatic TV: Setting the record straight

It’s unlikely that programmatic TV will start out in the same manner as it did in the digital display ad world. That means no real-time bidding on open exchanges right off the bat. TV inventory is scarce and premium, so programmers and distributors are going to want a high level of control over transactions. As a result, we’re likely to see a mix of programmatic reservations, preferred deals, and private exchange deals. These will be coupled with premium TV and video marketplaces (such as Google Partner Select), which will emerge to help TV ad buyers and sellers transact. 

Chief among programmers’ and broadcasters’ concerns about programmatic TV is that it will lower the value of their TV inventory. Let’s quash that thinking right now. Here’s why programmatic makes sense for TV programmers and broadcasters:
  • Advertiser demand
  • Addressable inventory
  • Waste
  • Inventory prices
  • Risk
  • Fragmentation
Download the new whitepaper for the in-depth story on each of the six reasons.

8Apr/150

Join Google & DoubleClick at NAB Show, Monday April 13th at 10:30am PDT

In our Evolution of TV series we've been exploring the 7 dynamics driving TV’s on-going transition to delivery over the internet. In the series we uncover that viewers increasingly want to watch their favorite TV shows anytime, anywhere, and on any screen. Delivering against this cross-screen mix of traditional linear TV and TV over the internet, while making advertising as addressable and measurable as possible, requires both new business models and sophisticated new technology. 
Join Google’s Director of Product Management for Video Advertising, Rany Ng, at NAB Show for some exciting new TV announcements. Rany will take the stage for a keynote speech where she’ll discuss how this new, accelerated viewing model is changing the way that programmers, distributors and publishers deliver and monetize their content across every TV screen.
Following the keynote, Don Norton our Director of Broadcast and Sports Partnerships, will moderate a panel and Q&A session with senior industry thought-leaders from MTV Networks (Viacom), Pelmorex and our own mDialog.

For more detailsNAB Show 2015
When: 10:30am, Monday, April 13
Where: Las Vegas Convention Center, Room N239-241
3150 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

2Apr/150

Evolution of TV: A New Whitepaper on The Promise of Programmatic TV

This post is part of DoubleClick's Evolution of TV series. In this series we identify the risks and opportunities around 7 dynamics transforming the advertising landscape as TV programming shifts to delivery over the Internet.

Television advertising is big business. How big? TV ad spending in the U.S. is projected to reach almost $84 billion per year by 2018. Traditionally, many of these billions are spent during upfronts—that time of year when traditional TV networks and, increasingly, digital media companies gather to present their fall lineups and pitch marketers for ad dollars. Whatever TV inventory hasn't been sold, or is held back, is then sold in what is called the scatter market.

While this traditional TV buying and selling model has worked well for decades, it's not without its inefficiencies. "Programmatic TV" is a likely solution that could apply digital advertising's efficiency models to improve TV advertising.

What is "programmatic TV"?
In this new whitepaper we explore what exactly programmatic TV is and its promise for those involved.

We define "programmatic TV" as a technology-automated and data-driven method of buying and delivering ads against TV content. This includes digital TV ads served across the web, mobile devices, and connected TVs, as well as linear TV ads served across set-top boxes.

As with any new technology, though, the programmatic TV offerings on the market today fall short of the full potential of the technology. As a result, programmatic TV skeptics have reason to ask “why change what’s not broken?” We’re here to say that, while the TV buying and selling process isn’t exactly broken, there's a role for programmatic TV to make it better.

In Part 3 in our Evolution of TV series (find the rest of the series here) we dispel the hype about programmatic TV, address the challenges, and concentrate on its promise for brand advertisers, programmers, and broadcasters.

Download the new whitepaper from Think with Google for the in-depth story.

-
Rany Ng,
Director of Product Management, Video

1Apr/150

Evolution of TV: The Promise of Programmatic TV

This post is part of DoubleClick's Evolution of TV series. In this series we identify the risks and opportunities around 7 dynamics transforming the advertising landscape as TV programming shifts to delivery over the Internet.

Television advertising is big business. How big? TV ad spending in the U.S. is projected to reach almost $84 billion per year by 2018. Traditionally, many of these billions are spent during upfronts—that time of year when traditional TV networks and, increasingly, digital media companies gather to present their fall lineups and pitch marketers for ad dollars. Whatever TV inventory hasn't been sold, or is held back, is then sold in what is called the scatter market.

While this traditional TV buying and selling model has worked well for decades, it's not without its inefficiencies. "Programmatic TV" is a likely solution that could apply digital advertising's efficiency models to improve TV advertising.

We define "programmatic TV" as a technology-automated and data-driven method of buying and delivering ads against TV content. This includes digital TV ads served across the web, mobile devices, and connected TVs, as well as linear TV ads served across set-top boxes.

As with any new technology, though, the programmatic TV offerings on the market today fall short of the full potential of the technology. As a result, programmatic TV skeptics have reason to ask “why change what’s not broken?” We’re here to say that, while the TV buying and selling process isn’t exactly broken, there's a role for programmatic TV to make it better.

In Part 3 in our Evolution of TV series we dispel the hype about programmatic TV, address the challenges, and concentrate on its promise for brand advertisers, programmers, and broadcasters.

Download the PDF from Think with Google for the in-depth story.

-
Rany Ng,
Director of Product Management, Video

1Apr/150

Out with unwanted ad injectors

Cross-posted from the Google Online Security Blog

It’s pretty tough to read the New York Times under these circumstances:


And it’s pretty unpleasant to shop for a Nexus 6 on a search results page that looks like this:

The browsers in the screenshots above have been infected with ‘ad injectors’. Ad injectors are programs that insert new ads, or replace existing ones, into the pages you visit while browsing the web. We’ve received more than 100,000 complaints from Chrome users about ad injection since the beginning of 2015—more than network errors, performance problems, or any other issue.
Injectors are yet another symptom of “unwanted software”—programs that are deceptive, difficult to remove, secretly bundled with other downloads, and have other bad qualities. We’ve made several recent announcements about our work to fight unwanted software via Safe Browsing, and now we’re sharing some updates on our efforts to protect you from injectors as well.
Unwanted ad injectors: disliked by users, advertisers, and publishers
Unwanted ad injectors aren’t part of a healthy ads ecosystem. They’re part of an environment where bad practices hurt users, advertisers, and publishers alike.
People don’t like ad injectors for several reasons: not only are they intrusive, but people are often tricked into installing ad injectors in the first place, via deceptive advertising, or software “bundles.” Ad injection can also be a security risk, as the recent “Superfish” incident showed.
But, ad injectors are problematic for advertisers and publishers as well. Advertisers often don’t know their ads are being injected, which means they don’t have any idea where their ads are running. Publishers, meanwhile, aren’t being compensated for these ads, and more importantly, they unknowingly may be putting their visitors in harm’s way, via spam or malware in the injected ads.
How Google fights unwanted ad injectors
We have a variety of policies that either limit or entirely prohibit, ad injectors.
In Chrome, any extension hosted in the Chrome Web Store must comply with the Developer Program Policies. These require that extensions have a narrow and easy-to-understand purpose. We don’t ban injectors altogether—if they want to, people can still choose to install injectors that clearly disclose what they do—but injectors that sneak ads into a user’s browser would certainly violate our policies. We show people familiar red warnings when they are about to download software that is deceptive, or doesn’t use the right APIs to interact with browsers.
On the ads side, AdWords advertisers with software downloads hosted on their site, or linked to from their site, must comply with our Unwanted Software Policy. Additionally, both Google Platforms program policies and the DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) Seller Program Guidelines, don’t allow programs that overlay ad space on a given site without permission of the site owner.
To increase awareness about ad injectors and the scale of this issue, we’ll be releasing new research on May 1 that examines the ad injector ecosystem in depth. The study, conducted with researchers at University of California Berkeley, drew conclusions from more than 100 million pageviews of Google sites across Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer on various operating systems, globally. It’s not a pretty picture. Here’s a sample of the findings:
  • Ad injectors were detected on all operating systems (Mac and Windows), and web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE) that were included in our test.
  • More than 5% of people visiting Google sites have at least one ad injector installed. Within that group, half have at least two injectors installed, nearly one-third have at least four installed.
  • Thirty-four percent of Chrome extensions injecting ads were classified as outright malware.
  • Researchers found 192 deceptive Chrome extensions that affected 14 million users; these have since been disabled. Google now uses the techniques we used to catch these extensions to scan all new and updated extensions.

We’re constantly working to improve our product policies to protect people online. We encourage others to do the same. We’re committed to continuing to improve this experience for Google and the web as a whole.

Posted by Nav Jagpal, Software Engineer, Safe Browsing

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