What are some of the projects you’re currently working on at display.io?Leading direct advertisers campaigns and managing demand side. Strengthening relationships with our clients. Applying close optimization on campaigns to reach clients KPI’s.
What was cool when you were young but isn’t cool now?Tetris.
What weird food combinations do you really enjoy?Beef tongue.
What are you interested in that most people aren’t?Printed newspapers.
Who are the influences in your professional life and why? My sister and Guy my husband. They’re mature, calm and positive, so they give me good advice and make me believe in myself more.
What’s the worst hairstyle you’ve ever had?I was a bald baby.
What do you think you do better than 90% of people?Chocolate chip cookies (that I bring to the office as well).
What’s the most important principle you work by? I come with zero ego and do all in favor of the team.
What makes you roll your eyes every time you hear it?Complaints or unnecessary requests.
What’s something that everyone, absolutely everyone, in the entire world can agree on?I am better than most of the office at foosball.
What tips or tricks have you picked up from working at display.io?Be proactive and responsive.
What’s your life motto?It doesn’t matter where you’re going, it matters with whom.
It has been an incredible month at display.io! We were fortunate to have participated in panels at both MAU 2018 Las Vegas and GMIC Beijing 2018, respectively. We were happy to share some of our new and exciting product developments at GMIC and MAU with some of the leading minds in todays market place. See you next year!
EU GDPR – Privacy Rules May Give Google More Power
The disingenuous way companies are attempting to comply with the letter, not the spirit, of the EU GDPR (European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation ) is only part of the problem with the new privacy rule, which goes into effect May 25. For publishers already forced to accept Google’s near monopoly on programmatic advertising on their sites, the new regulation could make things worse.
Google has altered its ad policies to comply with the EU GDPR. The changes affect all businesses running its ad modules or using the U.S. company’s programmatic advertising tools offered under the DoubleClick umbrella brand, which is the biggest digital advertising platform. Most publishers sell their inventory through Google, and many derive a majority of their revenue from Google-run services. Now, Google has told them it intends to act as controller of any personal data provided by the publishers under the GDPR. That means the internet giant will need publishers to obtain consent from readers or subscribers for its use of the data. The publishers will essentially have no say about how Google uses the data they hand over. The important thing is that if they fail to obtain consent, Google won’t serve ads on their sites.
The EU GDPR defines a data controller as an entity that decides how and for what purpose data will be processed; it can use “data processors” to do it on its behalf. For example, a publisher that has collected a detailed subscriber database and now wants to target ads to the subscribers is a data controller, and the provider of the targeted advertising solution is the processor.
That’s not how Google wants to play it: It intends to control the data. This creates a trust problem for publishers. They aim to build close, sometimes emotional relationships with readers, listeners and viewers. But under Google’s terms, they’ll have to tell these customers explicitly that their data will be handed over to a third party, Google, without specifying what Google will do with it.
That is what happened before the EU GDPR, too: Publishers’ and advertisers’ troves of information about their customers have always been a major source for Google, Facebook and other data harvesters. But the customers weren’t told about it so clearly, or asked so explicitly if it was acceptable to them. Now, Google is essentially demanding a coming out about these practices. Given the indignation of media about privacy in recent months, this will look more than a little hypocritical. Several publishers’ associations, which between them represent many of the biggest media companies with operations in Europe, have sent a letter to Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai that lays out publishers’ objections to this arrangement. “Claiming such broad rights over all data in the ecosystem, without full disclosure and without providing publishers the option for Google to act as a processor for certain types of data, appears to be an intentional abuse of your market power,” the letter says. “At the same time, you refuse to provide publishers with any specific information about how you will collect, share and use the data. Placing the full burden of obtaining new consent on the publisher is untenable without providing the publisher with the specific information needed to provide sufficient transparency or to obtain the requisite specific, granular, and informed consent under the GDPR.”
Google, for its part, maintains that any data a publisher or advertiser provides to its marketing tools are isolated and only used to target ads for the particular client. But that doesn’t make it easier for a publisher to sell a reader on the idea of giving private information to Google, the giant information vacuum cleaner, not to her favorite news site. The search company has promised to “offer a solution to support publishers that want to show non-personalized ads,” but that solution hasn’t been presented yet. In their letter, the publishers ask Pichai to explain how it will work and whether it will allow them to run Google-served ads without obtaining consent from users. In a way, the drafters of the EU GDPR deserve kudos for creating this controversy. Many internet users have given little thought to how exactly their data get harvested without their explicit consent. Now, they’ll see that even when they give information to their favorite publication (or a store they frequent, or pretty much any other organization), there is a strong likelihood it will end up with Google and Facebook. That, however, doesn’t make things easier for publishers, which have come to depend on Google for advertising revenues just like many ordinary users have accepted Google’s search monopoly. There aren’t many places for them to go unless they help Google comply with the EU GDPR. Non-targeted advertising — yes, the kind we saw in the old days, when printed newspapers and free-to-air TV were our top news sources — is the honest solution: It could reassure readers that, to the news providers, they are valued customers, not a product to be bought and sold. But would advertisers go for it or would it mean the loss of even more advertising revenue for publishers? Advertisers are already used to the promise of targeting, even if they can’t be sure it works as well as Google and Facebook claim.
The entire ecosystem — the big data harvesters, the advertisers, the content producers — is complicit in the current privacy-destroying business model. Different models, from ad-free subscription-based options to ones that pay people to see ads, exist, but they would have to be much more broadly accepted to make them industry standards.
In the end, the responsibility lies with us, the readers, the customers. If we refuse to endorse the prevalent business model, in which we are the product, not a principal, and if we withhold our consent to the commercial use of our data, the industries will be forced to offer us different models. The GDPR gives us the power to start changing things; it’s likely that we’ll squander it, but at least we should know we have it for a brief moment now
display.io part of the IAB Open Measurement working group
The IAB Technology Laboratory today released its Open Measurement Software Development Kit (OM SDK), a set of tools designed to seamlessly facilitate third-party view ability and verification measurement for ads served in mobile app environments—without various measurement provider SDKs and systems previously required. Market adoption of the OM SDK will support scaling in-app measurement, increase confidence and flexibility for buyers, and consolidate fragmented inventory. Major app publishers and ad SDK providers, as well as third-party measurement/verification providers tested the OM SDK in a limited release period that kicked off in October 2017 to ensure that it is fully functional and ready for industry-wide use.
Version 1.0 of the OM SDK includes:
Availability on iOS and Android platforms
“Begin-to-render” impression measurement
Viewability verification, as per the Media Rating Council (MRC) definition
Multiple ad types (display, native, native video, HTML video, etc.)
Video verification via all versions of the Digital Video Ad Serving Template (VAST)
Simultaneously, the IAB Tech Lab is launching a voluntary compliance service that validates a company’s OM SDK integration and ensures that the measurement provider tags will work within an organization’s deployment of the OM SDK.
“This release finally brings standardization to the in-app measurement landscape for brands. We look forward to rolling out this update into the display.io ads SDK so that both our brand advertisers and publishers can benefit from enhanced transparency and performance”, said Stephen Caffrey, CEO of display.io
Measurement providers across the ecosystem are already taking the necessary steps to implement the SDK within their distinct protocols. In addition, the IAB Tech Lab has published the “Open Measurement SDK Onboarding Guide for Integration Partners,” which will provide guidance for deployment and use.
After several weeks in development the new display.io SDK has been released for developers to integrate. This huge product update promises better stability, performance and of course increased ad revenue for our all developer partners on both Android and iOS.
New Android SDK developments:
1. New Ad Units : Native Ads and Rewarded Video
2. Improvements to interstitial Ad Unit UI / UX
3. Extended support for rich media on Interstitial
4. MoPub and AdMob Adapters support for Native and Rewarded Video in
New iOS SDK:
1. Support for the Interstitial ad unit
2. Richmedia (MRAID 3.0) Support on Interstitials
Download the latest SDK by registering here (New Accounts) or logging in here (Existing Accounts)
We’ve also updated our Support Portal so that its easier to find answers to your technical questions. Check it out here.
Programmatic – Ineffective measurement is holding back marketers from spending more
Marketers are holding off on increasing their programmatic budgets as a majority of them believe that poor measurement is still a major issue in programmatic.
According to a survey among 214 marketers with programmatic budgets of $100k a year by programmatic agency Infectious Media, almost 90% said they would justify increasing their expenditure if measurement was improved.
Measurement is the top digital challenge among marketers. 66% of respondents said that measuring campaigns was either ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ challenging.
Another dominant issue holding back marketers from higher programmatic investment was high viewability, followed by brand safety protection.
“It’s clear from our study that advertisers are waking up to the fact that the measurement model most have relied on for their programmatic campaigns is broken and digital ad spend is being held back as a result,” explained Martin Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Infectious Media. “Advertisers are looking to agencies to show greater leadership on how the system can be improved.”
Additionally, 64% of respondents added that a lack of education and transparency were adding to the difficulty in accurately measuring programmatic campaigns.
“Unfortunately, most have been content with the easy option of spending advertisers’ money on cheap inventory that meets a given target on clicks, regardless of the risk of fraud or the limited ROI this delivers. Agencies have a responsibility to educate their clients on the more sophisticated approaches that are available, offering them metrics that better fit their business objectives and challenging them to think beyond clicks,” Kelly added.
Meanwhile, advertisers are still considering clicks to be the most important measure of success of a campaign. This comes despite reports on fraud distortion of such clicks that have shown it is a flawed metric.
56% of respondents consider clicks the most important metric, whilst 45% consider cost per click more valuable and 43% voted for click-through rate.
John Gillan, Manging Director for the UK and Northern Europe at Criteo, said:
“These findings certainly highlight the heightened demand for improved measurement, and programmatic marketers need to look at new ways of doing this. For example, assessing Customer Lifetime Value (how much value a customer delivers to one retailer throughout a period) rather than just looking at CPCs and CPMs. However this comes with its own challenges, meaning marketers should be considering better data collaboration in a bid to accelerate their ability to develop a complete, holistic view of their customer-base. Only by doing this can marketers start to think beyond short-term, transactional gains and look towards maximising the lifetime value of their existing customers.”
Mobile app advertisers were subjected to 30% more fraud throughout Q1 2018, according to the latest State of Mobile Fraud report by AppsFlyer, the mobile ad company. Based on 10 billion installs of 6,000 apps, the report found that financial exposure to fraud during the first quarter of 2018 reached $700-$800 million globally.
Overall, fraud increased 15% compared to AppsFlyer’s previous study. Part of this is driven by an ever-morphing and adapting fraud ecosystem. When one strategy fails, fraudsters are quick to adapt and launch a different type of attack.
The findings also highlighted the types of fraud causing the greater damage. As such, device farms were generally more damaging over the summer. However, the launch of Protect360 resulted in volume loss and instead click flood rates increased. For Q2 2018, bots are predicted to be the leading drivers of mobile ad fraud (30%).
However, AppsFlyer warns that fraud is not only targeting specific apps. Instead, 22% of apps now have over 10% fraud, whilst fewer than 12% are exposed to less than 30% of fraud.
Unsurprisingly, shopping apps are those hit hardest. Given their high CPI and large scale, they were the most heavily hit app type, followed by finance and travel apps.
In terms of operating system, Android continues to be under greater attack than iOS. Fraud on Android was 3x that of iOS. This is partially due to Android being an open OS rendering it easier to attack. At the same time, the sheer reach and scale of Android make it a more attractive target.
What can businesses do to stay protected against mobile fraud?
AppsFlyer recommends to regularly update SDKs, monitoring one’s data and getting a comprehensive fraud assessment.
Machine Learning – A Q&A With our very own Data Scientist – Sergii Nechuiviter
Name: Sergii Nechuiviter
Title: Senior Data Science Engineer
Favorite Food: fried potatoes
Favorite Music Genre: epic music from movies and games
Where and what did you study at university?
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University)
Wide study of physics and deep study of machine learning.
Who are the influences in your professional life and why?
I learned a lot from my MIPT lecturer of machine learning – Konstantin Vorontsov. He gave me a deep understanding of theoretical and practical principles of data mining. I returned to those lectures and seminars multiple times during my career.
What got you interested in pursuing data science as a career?
Actually, I am interested in Computational Intelligence. But, being a more practical than theoretical person, I like to work in the field of data science and machine learning as it involves me more tightly in the real implementation of machine intelligence.
What are some of the projects you currently working on at display.io?
At display.io I am involved in the engineering of new predictors of the probability of conversion for the given ads.
What are the techniques you are using to solve these challenges?
For training of those predictors the Python-based tools are used: numpy for linear algebra, scikit-learn for some simple machine learning, dask for pure python distributed computations and resource management and our own implementation of more complex machine learning algorithms like FFM.
In your opinion what are the issues affecting mobile marketing that applied data science can improve?
I think applied data science boosts and speeds up abilities of “classic” analytics to select the best marketing strategy. With machine learning tools data scientist can analyze available data deeper: makes audience targeting more precise, quicker reacts to changes in trends and moods.
CONSUMERS HAVE LONG wondered just what Google and Facebook know about them, and who else can access their personal data. Internet giants have little incentive to give straight answers — even to simple questions like, “Why am I being shown this ad?” On May 25, however, the power balance will shift towards consumers, thanks to a new privacy law in Europe that restricts how personal data is collected and handled. The rule, called General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR, focuses on ensuring that users know, understand, and consent to the data collected about them. Under GDPR, pages of fine print won’t suffice. Neither will forcing users to click yes in order to sign up.
Instead, companies must be clear and concise about their collection and use of personal data like full name, home address, location data, IP address, or the identifier that tracks web and app use on smartphones. Companies have to spell out why the data is being collected and whether it will be used to create profiles of people’s actions and habits. Moreover, consumers will gain the right to access data companies store about them, the right to correct inaccurate information, and the right to limit the use of decisions made by algorithms, among others.
The new privacy law protects individuals in the 28 member countries of the European Union, even if the data is processed elsewhere. That means GDPR will apply to publishers like WIRED; banks; universities; much of the Fortune 500; the alphabet soup of ad-tech companies that track you across the web, devices, and apps; and Silicon Valley tech giants.
As an example of the law’s reach, the European Commission, the EU’s legislative arm, says on its website that a social network will have to comply with a user request to delete photos the user posted as a minor — and inform search engines and other websites that used the photos that the images should be removed. The commission also says a car-sharing service may request a user’s name, address, credit card number, and potentially whether the person has a disability, but can’t require a user to share their race. (Under GDPR, stricter conditions apply to collecting “sensitive data,” such as race, religion, political affiliation, and sexual orientation.)
GDPR has already spurred, or contributed to, changes in data-collection and -handling practices. In June, Google announced that it would stop mining emails in Gmail to personalize ads. (The company says that was unrelated to GDPR and done in order to harmonize the consumer and business versions of Gmail.) In September, Google revamped its privacy dashboard, first launched in 2009, to be more user-friendly. In January, Facebook announced its own privacy dashboard, which has yet to launch. Though the law applies only in Europe, the companies are making changes globally, because it’s simpler than creating different systems.
The law’s impact will extend well past the web giants. In March, Drawbridge, an ad-tech company that tracks users across devices, said it would wind down its advertising business in the EU because it’s unclear how the digital ad industry would ensure consumer consent. Acxiom, a data broker that provides information on more than 700 millionpeople culled from voter records, purchasing behavior, vehicle registration, and other sources, is revising its online portals in the US and Europe where consumers can see what information Acxiom has about them. GDPR “will set the tone for data protection around the world for the next 10 years,” says Sheila Colclasure, Acxiom’s chief data ethics officer.
Beyond such moves, the law’s emphasis on consent, control, and clear explanations could prompt users to better understand and reconsider the ways they are surveilled online. Meanwhile, privacy activists plan to use GDPR as a weapon to force changes in corporate data-handling practices.
In short, the new privacy law is a chance to flip the economics of the industry. Since the dawn of the commercial web, companies have been financially incentivized to hoover up data and monetize later. Now, EU consumers will have the freedom to opt in, rather than the burden of opting out. That emphasis on consent creates a financial reward to building consumer trust.
GDPR presents “a real chance to renegotiate the terms of engagement between people, their data, and the company,” rather than mindlessly clicking away a terms-of-service agreement, says David Carroll, associate professor of media design at The New School. Carroll says data collected by activists “might be the basis for new investigations and ways to keep the companies accountable.”
The need for transparency and accountability is more vital than ever. Clicking to accept an impenetrable terms-of-service document once seemed like a no-brainer. The upside was incredible efficiency and the downside, it seemed, was just some annoying shoe ads stalking you around the web. But the past year has shown how the same personal data has been weaponized to suppress minority voters, radicalize young white men, exploit political beliefs to sow division, and possibly swing elections. In a white paper called “Corporate Surveillance in Everyday Life,” researcher Wolfie Christl diagrams how personal data is used to influence behavior and determine what products you see, what services you have access to, and what prices you pay in areas from shopping to banking. “Every time we click, these companies are trying to figure out, is this a valuable person or this is a worthless person?” Christl says.
Of course, the law has its share of detractors, who dismiss GDPR as more protectionism from the EU, which has challenged American tech platforms on antitrust and privacy grounds with expensive consequences. Then there are concerns about cost. Colclasure from Acxiom calls the data industry the backbone of “free content and free knowledge” online. “It’s either hit a pay wall or these sites are ad-supported for the most part,” she says.
There are potential loopholes in the law. It allows businesses to process personal data without consent for limited reasons, including a business’s “legitimate interests,” which the European Commission says includes “direct marketing,” through mail, email, or online ads.
However, even then companies must take into account a consumer’s expectation of how their data will be used and can’t infringe on the other consumer rights guaranteed under GDPR. In the digital realm, EU consumers also have the added protection of a companion set of rules, called the ePrivacy Directive, that govern electronic communication. Under those rules, which are in the process of being ratified into law, consent is the only legal basis for collecting personal data.