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Last Week In Adops #05

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).


ESPN Layoffs: The Struggling Industry Giant Sheds On-Air Talent

“The network has lost more than 10 million subscribers over the past several years. At the same time, the cost of broadcasting major sports has continued to rise. ESPN committed to an eight-year, $15.2 billion deal extension with the N.F.L. in 2011; a nine-year, $12 billion deal with the N.B.A.; and a $7.3 billion deal for the college football playoffs, among many others.”


Desktop and Mobile Ad Revenue Surpasses TV for the First Time

No BFD this week but this is the closest thing we’ve got. Digital ad spend increased by over 20% in 2016 and for the first time surpassed TV for total ad spend ($72.5B vs. $71.3B). With this and the news that ESPN is cutting 100 jobs, feels like we hit peak TV. The other thing of note from this report is that Google and Facebook captured somewhere between 70–90% of the increase in digital spend. Legend has it if you say “duopoly” into your bathroom mirror three times Jason Kint will appear with Facebook’s latest 10-Q. Seriously guy, I get your entire job relies on publishers feeling compelled to work together and give your organization money but…

Interesting But Not Relevant

Heineken Just Put Out The Antidote to That Pepsi Kendall Jenner Ad

Shit title aside (calm down, future buzzfeed editors) the ad is great. Worth your time.

Other Articles


Life After Death

Joshua Topolsky gives himself a big pat on the back. He lets us know that “Media may be really fucking broken, but we’ve figured out ways to start fixing it.”

Ryan’s take: Sure, Josh.

To be fair, he does make a handful of good points and it’s absolutely worth the click. I just wish the writer wasn’t so busy blowing himself. He also leaves out the most important part of this whole thing… numbers! Stats, evidence, proof that this isn’t just pixie dust! It’s all fine and well to tell me about the engagement rates of your unique ad format (spoiler: higher than IAB standard sizes) but are you making enough to cover your costs? Are you getting repeat business? Will you still be around whenever VC money runs dry? That’s what really matters.

Header Bidding Unleashed A Huge Infrastructure Problem

A very solid rundown of the technical costs to header bidding and how it’s affecting the adtech ecosystem by @sarasluis.

This is the most complete explainer I’ve seen on the side effects of header bidding. Three cheers for good adtech writing! I would love for someone to explain to me what goes into the decisioning for DSP pathfinding/smart routing/whatever. This sounds like pretty advanced stuff but it could also just be a google doc where they decide not to spend on the more expensive SSPs.

BuzzFeed is building a team of writers to sell you stuff

Buzzfeed is trying to be the Buzzfeed of affiliate link articles now too. They have a 12 person team built to write the stories.

Reading between the lines here… Buzzfeed isn’t confident with its ad money and wants to reduce risk by diversifying it’s revenue sources. Sure when written about in purely business terms it makes sense. But in editorial terms it just feels dirty. You’re just writing articles about random things you find on amazon and hoping people buy them. This isn’t ‘The Wirecutter’ where they’re doing testing and reviews and whatnot. This is an Oriental Trading Company catalogue in listicle form.

Twitter Surprises by Adding New Users, Sends Shares Soaring

$TWTR beat Wall Street expectations and did $548MM in revenue and added 8MM new users in Q1.

This is just a sign of how little wall street thinks of twitter. Their revenue is down 8% YoY (even with the increase in users) and that “sends shares soaring”? I’m biased, I love twitter and want it to succeed but damn it feels like they can’t get their shit together.


FCC announces plan to reverse Title II net neutrality

FCC chairman Ajit Pai is looking to roll back some net neutrality regulations (specifically how ISPs are classified).

Shameless Self Promotion

Podcast Episode 06 // Paul Gubbins

This week I chat with Paul Gubbins (@Gu881n5), an adtech consultant in the UK. We dig into the differences between the European and US adtech markets, what a cookie-less world means for adtech, and Paul brings a small child to tears.

This Gif Needs A Caption

You’d think a gif mocking robots would be easy to use but this one has me stumped.

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

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