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Last Week In Adops #04

a weekly email mocking the bullshit that is the adtech industry. sent out every friday so you have something to do while drinking that first beer/coffee 
(I don’t judge).


Two years after buying Elite Daily, the Daily Mail says it’s worthless

“Now it is a cautionary tale: The owner of the Daily Mail, the publisher that bought Elite Daily in January 2015, says the New York-based startup has been a bust, and has written down all of its investment in the money-losing company, citing “poor performance.”
It is taking a $31 million loss in the process.”


Bustle acquires Elite Daily from Daily Mail

… oh so it was free? (h/t @jarroddicker)

Other Articles


Oracle will pay more than $850 million for Moat

The title pretty much says it.

Ryan’s take: You’d think this news would be this weeks BFD and in a normal week it might. But when you scroll down you’ll understand why it’s not.

Now regarding the strategy and reasoning behind the acquisition: I’ve seen different speculation. The one theory that makes the most sense to me is that Moat needed to raise more money. VCs aren’t pumping a lot of money into adtech so they probably dual-tracked acquisition talks once they realized they might not get favorable terms. Oracle on the other hand see’s this as a way to further enhance their marketing cloud offering (“verified by moat”). By the way I’ve cribbed all of this from /u/mcdustyrusty.

His comment is actually really useful and I learned something reading it. Mainly about the Intersection Observer API that Google has built into the newest versions of Chrome (and Mozilla & Microsoft have signaled they intend to add it to their browsers as well). Interaction Observer is a viewability API natively built into the browser which all by removes the reason to have a 3rd party for viewability verification. A good summary of where viewability tracking has been and where it’s going can be found here.

So then why did Oracle pay such a high premium for Moat (it had raised $50MM in a series C at a $430MM valuation in March of 2016) if Google had just commoditized it’s USP? Good question. Publisher relationships? Their data trove? The fact that Interaction Observer still has a lot of work to do before it can be trusted in campaigns? (it’s not on all browsers, it’s not on old browsers, and it doesn’t at all work in-app… but it does feel like the future). Probably a little of everything.

The big question is: Will Oracle squeeze out enough from the Moat name to make this $850MM price tag worth it? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Facebook’s algorithm isn’t surfacing one-third of our posts.

Starting in January the Chicago Tribune started noticing a decrease in their facebook reach. Kurt Gessler (deputy editor of the Tribune) digs into the numbers.

Remember last week when I talked about the kind of stuff that grinds my gears? This is the exact post I was asking for. We’re shown averages, per days, medians, cohorts. This is what good analysis looks like. For those of you new to adops- study this!

Snapchat is launching a self-serve platform for Snap ads

Yeah this just kind of makes sense. It lets agencies do their thing without having to go through another partner (who takes a vig). Will this double $SNAP’s bottom line? Nah but it’s progress so I guess they deserve a polite clap.

Google Plans Ad-Blocking Feature in Popular Chrome Browser

What the title says. Google is planning to announce they’re adding an ad blocking feature to both the mobile and desktop versions of Chrome.

MESSAGE! This is the BFD. Forget Moat. Google is getting into the ad blocking game. Now they’re not saying they’ll actually block all ads, just the annoying ones (ones that don’t abide by the better ads standards). But that’s a slippery slope.

A lot of people are trying to talk about anti-trust(!!) or ‘why would google do this? it’s shooting themselves in the foot’ but those people have got it all wrong. First, re: anti-trust I assume big G paid a fuckton of high priced lawyers to tell them that they’re either on the right side of the law or that it’s gray enough that with their resources they’ll more than likely win any legal battle.

The more important thing to realize is this. Google is smart. Check the better ads standards… all of those ads they would block are either ad types that they don’t have in adx (mobile web interstitials) or they break adx policy for ads on the page. And I don’t see a single mention of search results ads. This doesn’t touch their money in any way. In fact it might even save them money. With a big marketing push all of a sudden Chrome has “ad blocking baked in” and every Tom, Dick and Harry won’t even bother installing adblock plus (a group Google pays millions to to not block their search ads).

To me the low-key BFD of the BFD is the threat Google levels that if you have a site that breaks the better ads standards, they won’t block the bad ads. They’ll flag your whole site and block everything.

The Tactical Implications Of The Walled Gardens

Ari Paparo (@aripap) dodges the ideological debate of “what do these walled gardens mean for advertisers?” and instead goes to “ok so they exist, what do buyers need to do?” which I think is the smarter way to go.

Honestly I think everyone should read this article and probably not for the reasons Ari hopes. Sure Ari spells out the problems and best strategies caused by having these massive walled gardens very well. He’s insightful even (not that that comes as any surprise).

But if you take a step back and just look at the landscape you realize… buy side data teams are fucked. I can’t think of another way around it. There are just so many blindspots now. How do you make a complete story when some of the largest portions of your ad budget can’t follow a user?What about reach? Frequency? Attribution? Good fucking luck.

How Vice Media cut page-load time by 50 percent in six months

The Washington Post cuts off ad tech vendors slowing its site

Two fluff pieces (no offense Jarrod or Jay… but these are like 30 words of info and 700 of fluff) both with the same general theme. Smart publishers are starting to look at taking control of the code and ads on their page. Vice’s dev team coded some shit to speed up ad delivery and load. WaPo dropped some slow vendors (no names named. Sad!) and replaced them with some homegrown options.

Do Web Publishers Need Their Own Marketing Cloud?

Looking for the “sponsored by” tag in this post like…

Shameless Self Promotion

No podcast this week. Check me out next week when I interview Paul Gubbins (@Gu881n5).

This Gif Needs A Caption

Silicon Valley is back this week and I really think the site could use more Jared.

Thanks for reading and have a great week! Or don’t. I’m not the boss of you.

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