Clearcode’s AdTech Week In Review: April 20 – April 26 2019


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Every Friday we present you a curated list of top AdTech stories in a condensed, easily-digestible format. The goal is simple: maximum knowledge at minimum reading. All you need is five minutes of spare time and a cup of good coffee.

Here’s this week’s portion of interesting industry news:

Publishers Rejoice: VPAID Is Out And SIMID Is In [AdExchanger]

SIMID (Secure Interactive Media Interface Definition), the IAB Tech Lab’s long-awaited replacement for the much hated VPAID (Video Player Ad Interface Definition) protocol has been in development since 2017. We’ve written about why the VPAID didn’t cut the mustard in one of our earlier posts. IAB Tech Lab is currently collecting comments from publishers and OTT vendors (ending May 24th) to address some of the most nagging limitations of VPAID.

Key Points:

  • Technical details about SIMID can be found here
  • SIMID aims to support interactive ads in a safe and secure environment for publishers
  • SIMID will offer better cross-platform support (mobile, SSAI and OTT devices)
  • SIMID offers separation of the interactive layer from the media asset. This gives publishers control of their streams and enables use cases such as server-side ad insertion (SSAI), and live streaming.

Amazon in Talks to Launch Ad-Supported Music Offering: Exclusive []

Amazon is reportedly in talks with record labels to get licensing for their new, free and ad-supported music service.

Key Points:

  • Amazon currently offers their Prime Music service bundled with Amazon Prime subscriptions
  • Amazon also offer Music Unlimited subscriptions separately. It’s a more premium, $9.99 a month service, (it costs $7.99 for Amazon Prime members and $3.99 for Amazon Echo users)
  • Spotify is currently the only major music streaming service offering a free tier

Walmart acquires adtech startup Polymorph Labs to scale up its ad business [TechCrunch]

Walmart has bought the AdTech company Polymorph Labs. The move will help it better compete through digital ads targeted using shopper data.

Key Points:

  • Acquisition of Polymorph is a part of Walmart’s ongoing adtech investments, including the company’s omni-channel ad-targeting and measurement tech
  • With the Polymorph Labs’ tech, an advertiser will be able to target a cat food buyer instead of a dog food buyer. Ad delivery will be automated and allow to measure whether those ads led to sales.

Which TV Players Could Be In The Market To Acquire Ad Tech? [AdExchanger]

AdExchanger is pointing to companies like TEGNA, Sinclair and Disney as the media players most likely to invest in AdTech as part of their efforts to monetize scale.

Key Points:

  • AT&T-owned company Xandr is already investing in addressable digital video and connected TV ads utilizing TV and set-top box data
  • Addressable TV allows advertisers to more effectively leverage their reach and audiences without the wasted spend typical for with traditional, non-targeted TV.
  • To boost its targeted advertising business, Comcast, which already owns FreeWheel, has been looking to buy AdTech assets for the past year, including Dataxu and Cadent,
  • Many players have already placed their early bets on AdTech. Disney with BAMTech (now Disney Streaming Services), Nexstar Media Group (with mobile video platform LKQD), RTL Group (with server-side ad insertion company Yospace); and Fox (with True[X]).

Zeta Global Buys Sizmek DSP And Rocket Fuel DMP Assets For $36 Million [AdExchanger]

Sizmek is selling its DMP, (formerly a part of Rocket Fuel), and its DSP tech to the marketing technology cloud Zeta Global on Friday in a deal estimated at about $36 million.

Key Points:

  • Many exchanges and supply-side companies stopped accepting bids from Sizmek after it filed for bankruptcy two weeks ago, since they didn’t want to take on more credit if Sizmek defaults on those payments.
  • Zeta has the bankroll to convince ad tech partners that Sizmek won’t miss payments moving forward. The company raised $140 million in 2017, bringing its total funding to $380 million, and is profitable, said CEO David Steinberg.

Brave browser lets you see opt-in ads in exchange for rewards [Engadget]

Brave is starting to pay people who agree to see in-browser ads. The latest version of the desktop browser allows users to sign in for the program – and get a 70 percent cut of the ad revenue through crypto tokens – if an ad is clicked.

Key Points:

  • Brave is a free and open-source web browser based on the Chromium browser.
  • Brave blocks many tracking scripts and other technologies tracing users’ online activity.
  • Brave will pay users with its proprietary cryptocurrency called BAT (Basic Attention Token). 1 BAT = 12 – 46 US cents (according to CoinMarketCap trend from the past 12 months)
  • Brave browser will be the default browser on the upcoming cryptocurrency-focused HTC Exodus 1 phone.

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