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Last Week In Adops #07
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).
One Big Thing
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard that Snap’s first earning call went… well it didn’t go great. This is the best and most comprehensive article I was able to find. That $2.2B loss seems big but most of it is tied to a bonus to the CEO for taking them public. The noteworthy parts of this to me are: they’re spending more in hosting fees than they make in ad dollars, they added less users this quarter (8mm) than twitter (9mm), and they spent over $800MM on R&D. That R&D spend wouldn’t look so bad if they actually sold a decent number of spectacles or something…
Look they always have a chance to turn this around and make me look foolish but I’ve been bearish on $SNAP from the get go and nothing I saw in the earnings report is changing my mind.
Did Jason Kint Mention “The Duopoly” This Week?
Of course he did.
Current Streak: 1 week
Ryan’s take: Hey remember that time when Facebook announced it was getting into the content recommendation game? You would if you read my very first newsletter. Now suddenly they’re cracking down on spammy sites, specifically focusing in on sites with… wait for it… content recommendation widgets. On a separate note- yes this makes sense and it’s obviously something Facebook should be working on. If they can cut out the incentive to make fake news sites they’ll end up with less of them to remove from our newsfeeds, win-win. And call me old fashioned but I get leery any time a platform “tweaks” its algorithm to punish publisher revenue while simultaneously building their own product to replace the thing they just punished.
My sleeper BFD this week. This is actually a really fascinating article and something I hadn’t even considered. What do we (publishers) do if our audience data can be collected, categorized, and resold by ISPs? Not to schlep my own wares too hard but I just wrapped up recording next week’s podcast episode with Chris Kane and we get into this very topic (publisher data security) so this is very top of mind for me. Honestly, I don’t even know what the answer is for pubs. How do you protect yourself from having the world’s most valuable resource poached and sold without you seeing a dime? This isn’t as simple as not exposing something to exchanges. This can be taken from us without the ISP asking… in theory. So yeah, wtf do we do?
Hey, you know what I hate? When a video follows me around the page and the publisher doesn’t build an obvious close button.
You’re better than that Fortune.
As for the content, things aren’t looking too good for Pandora. But we all kinda knew that already, right? Like don’t get me wrong I used to love the product. But that was before I could pay $10 and have the world’s iTunes library available to me via spotify or apple music. Now the thought that I can’t make my own playlists or that skips cost extra seems… quaint.
I know, I know. I can hear you already. “This isn’t a new article Ryan, this thing was written in August”. And you’re right but shut up and read the article. It’s incredible. It’s not too often that we get useful, specific, and actionable posts written about adtech. Normally everyone is too busy talking “strategy” from 10,000 feet or too scared to give away their secret sauce to give you anything actionable. Brian just lays it all out there.
What’s even more interesting to me is that this is already outdated. Yes, the idea of Supply Path Optimization that Brian just introduced to you is already outdated. That’s how fast this industry moves. While it was a difficult (but worthwhile) exercise back when publishers had 4–7 exchanges plugged into their client side wrapper… what happens when that number is 20 exchanges server side?
Lookie here, business insider finally caught up with my podcast from a month ago. Specifically episode #04 where MSG talks about the trouble SNAP would have with such a thin advertiser list (compared to Google and Facebook). Now that they want to make real money Snap is going to need to go after that direct response money and slum it with the rest of us.
Shameless Self Promotion
No podcast this week. Check me out next week when I interview Chris Kane (@ckane) founder of Jounce Media.
Thanks for reading and have a great week! Or don’t. I’m not the boss of you.
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