It’s been a crazy week so far and it’s only Tuesday at 9:30 AM. Part of this craziness is that there is so much interest in the DistroScale solution. Publishers, especially top-tier, multi-title publishers, are chomping at the bit for a scalable solution for branded content that plugs directly into demand streams on the buy side. I had suspected that there might be some pent-up demand for services like these, services that don’t require a big commitment — or any commitment at all — from publishers, yet offers them monthly paychecks of purely incremental revenue. I’ve seen this before in the early days of RTB when Admeld was building a stable of top-tier premium publishers, offering them a check every month, and solving both their remnant inventory and multi-network management problems at the same time. In the end, that model and their strategy worked out pretty well for them, I’d say. It’s a great business to be in, both providing a solution to a problem and being able to pay people for the privilege.
One thing that has become abundantly clear as I’ve been holding these meetings is that the scope of confusion and misunderstanding of ‘native’ is rife in the online industry, even amongst those who have been in it for ages. I include myself in this pool and each day I get a clearer picture of what we, as an industry, actually mean by the term. However, it’s such a wide catchall right now, it’s not surprising people are so confused. I found this beautifully produced matrix/chart from TripleLift and I’m using it as a cheat sheet for myself and as an asset for clients. I suspect it’ll require nearly weekly updates:
It’s crystal clear that the industry wants scalable, programmatic solutions for branded content (i.e. native) and there will probably be a few winners in the space. I don’t think it’s a one-size-fits-all problem and I don’t necessarily think it’s going to lend itself to one dominant player. Again, I look at the RTB world, which spawned at least three extremely successful companies on the publisher side: Admeld, PubMatic, and Rubicon. On the demand side it spawned, and continues to spawn, many many more. I’m looking forward to being on the ground and in the trenches for this latest (r)evolution in ad tech.
Granted, this piece is authored by someone with some skin in the game (and, full disclosure, so do I) but still, some compelling stats. Paid content as engaging (on a click basis) if not more than ‘straight’ editorial. Just because it’s paid for doesn’t mean it isn’t good. I mean, just look at the Lego Movie for the ultimate example of this.
A United Airlines interactive graphic—produced in partnership with The Times—that showed how far athletes traveled to compete at Sochi. The result was nearly 200,000 clicks—well above the average editorial article.
I’m very excited to announce that Teemo will be the sole representative of DistroScale in the UK. The only fully integrated native advertising and branded content marketplace and platform, DistroScale does for native what the 3rd party ad server and ad exchanges did for display.
Core functionality includes:
SaaS platform for publishers & ad agencies
Transparent Private Marketplace providing control for both publishers and advertisers
Integrated content within publisher’s site.
Supports customisable presentation and unique native content formats.
Support text, images, video, widgets, slideshows, and more.
Simple tag integration agnostic to CMS; One touch entry
Web, Mobile Web, Tablet, iOS SDK, Android SDK
Target by Category, Geo, Audience, Behaviour, Device, Browser, OS, & 3rd party contextual
Real-time content, social , & video engagement analytics
If you’re a publisher who’d like to make incremental revenue every month and support native advertising or if you’re an agency or advertiser who would like to roll out a scalable native ad format at scale, please get in touch with me for a demo.
DistroScale is a platform + marketplace for delivering, managing, & measuring native content across websites, mobile web & apps. Founders Stanley Wong, Navdeep Saini, and Chenggang Duan each have a long and succesful history in the online advertising space. The team has launched numerous advertising products, technologies, and companies over the last 15 years. DistroScale’s unique, scalable, easy to use, SaaS platform works across web, mobile, social, and video. The company is based in the San Francisco Bay Area with offices in New York City and Los Angeles and now London.
This is an excellent primer from VentureBeat on not just “Native” but also on the fledgling world of native exchanges. The development and adoption of native marketplaces will lead the way for delivering native solutions at scale. The exchanges will make it easier for editors to maintain control over what appears on their sites and for advertisers and brands to operate with transparency and the knowledge that their brand will only be run alongside AAA content.
From the article:
Native exchanges abide by the same biddable auction structure, but the inventory being bid on is one of the newly recognised native ad formats, such as an in-feed ad or recommendation widget. The key benefit of these new native formats is that they are placed where audiences are already actively looking for content; a study from IPG Media Labs showed that audiences look at native ads 53 percent more frequently than display ads.
“We know that marketers’ greatest loss in value is most often inattention to ads,” said Kara Manatt, vice president of consumer research strategy at the IPG Media Lab, and co-author of the new research.
Whether native ads will continue to hold consumers’ attention once their uniqueness wears off is another question, but, as Manatt added: “Past research shows us that neither overly intrusive nor easily ignored ads are effective … This study validates that we are on the right path to finding that middle ground.”
Here’s an elegant and useful graph from MSL London highlighting some of the key trends in Content Marketing in 2014 and beyond. Some of the key findings of their report:
The “Content Rush” is very real: 91% of companies will produce more content in 2014 than last year and 88% of companies plan to produce even more in 2015.
Companies in the UK are still in the process of laying the groundwork and staffing up to meet these objectives
Many marketers simply aren’t ready for the scope and scale of the content marketing revolution. For example, only 19% have a big enough team dedicated to creating and distributing digital content.
Only a fifth of companies feel they have the right organisational structure in place to fully develop a content marketing strategy.
Despite all this, “51% of companies declare to have more expertise in creating and distributing digital content than last year and 38% have more internal staff dedicated to creating and distributing content for the company.”
“The relationship between content creation and commercialism is more blurred than ever but that’s actually quite exciting,” he said.
“What we realised about our audience based on, surprise surprise, asking them what they thought ,was that they’re quite happy to have a blurred line between content and commercial provided there is a value exchange for them as individuals.”