Author: Anne Freier

Marchex expands customer call Speech Analytics solution to integrate AI

Marchex, which provides call analytics to help businesses convert their customer calls to action, has been working hard to continuously integrate customer feedback to improve the accuracy of its speech recognition technology. Now, the company announced an expansion of its Marchex Speech Analytics solution that includes updates to its Call DNA user interface. The interface now accepts user input on Artificial Intelligence (AI) predicted outcomes. Marchex says that this is particularly important for industries which rely on consumer phone calls, such as automotive businesses. Here, AI-driven conversation tech may offer an improved customer experience and also better insights into a call. Jim Bechtell, VP and General Manager at Somerset Buick GMC Inc. says: “When General Motors rolled out Marchex Speech Analytics, we were amazed at the insights it provided.

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The best time to engage app users is all the time, but engagement rates vary between the sexes

With the global app economy creeping up to become a $6.3 trillion market by 2021, it’s clear that the competition is heating up. App marketers and developers must be aware of their performance targets and be able to plan ahead. That’s why Liftoff today released its 2017 Mobile App Engagement Index, which tracks engagement costs across leading app categories and highlights trends in costs and conversions. When it comes to mobile app engagement benchmarks, which is the average cost to acquire new users from a paid app install campaign, it seems that the cost of subscriptions is huge compared to engagement rates (see top image). The report remarks: Expecting to acquire a first-time user to open their wallet is like believing you can buy a

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Snapchat to speed up programmatic mobile video placements

It seems that Snap Inc wants to add programmatic adverts to fill empty slots across videos on its Snapchat app. According to multiple sources speaking to Digiday, Snapchat has been holding back a little when it comes to placing programmatic ads on shows. This has led to weakened revenue and a shift in focus for Snapchat. Advertisers can currently purchase programmatic ads via Snap Ads, the company’s ad-serving platform. Programmatic video ads are currently available in the form of 10-second vertical units, which are placed in Snapchat shows, user stories, live stories and Discover channels. The ad units can also be purchased through Snap partners including 4C, Kenshoo and Videology. Until now, Snap had been selling video inventory directly to media outlets including Viacom and

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UK ad viewability jumps for second quarter in a row, but still falls behind other European countries

Ad viewability has increased for the second time in a row over the last two quarters in the UK, according to new research from ad verification specialist Meetrics. Much of this growth is driven by agencies and advertisers demanding that their ads remain in view for longer. As part of its quarterly update, Meetrics revealed that the number of banner ads providing minimum viewability rose to 52% during the third quarter, up from 47% in the first quarter. Therefore, ad viewability is currently at its highest rate since Q1 2016 when it was 54%. “Yes, the latest rise is small but its directionally very significant,” said Anant Joshi, Country Manager for the UK and Ireland at Meetrics. “For the first time, there’s a consistent positive trend

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Facebook expands news content through publisher relationships

Facebook is strengthening its partnerships with publishers by announcing an extension to its mobile app that will enable users to read a limited number of articles monthly and then giving them the option to subscribe via the publishers’ website. The addition was recently announced with 10 publishers already signed up, including the Washington Post, The Economist, German tabloid Bild, The Telegraph, The Boston Globe, Hearst (The Houston Chronicle and The San Francisco Chronicle), La Repubblica, Le Parisien, Spiegel, and tronc (The Baltimore Sun, The Los Angeles Times, and The San Diego Union-Tribune). Major financial publications such as the Financial Times ore the Wall Street Journal did not sign up, rejecting Facebook’s approach which lacked a more individualist approach to separate publishers. By partnering with established news groups, Facebook hopes

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TabMo partners with Integral Ad Science to boost mobile ad verification

Mobile DSP TabMo and Integral Ad Science (IAS), the company that provides ad measurement and analytics to boost ad verification and optimization, have announced a pre-bid integration for TabMo’s Hawk platform. By partnering, the Hawk platform now features improved brand safety performance for mobile in-app and web campaigns, fraud detection and viewability targeting for mobile web inventory. Chris Childs, Managing Director at TabMo UK, says: “Mobile advertising is a completely different ecosystem than desktop, and this also concerns brand safety, fraud and viewability. IAS is widely recognized as an industry leader, making them a logical partner in the effort to increase mobile media quality. We are happy to give mobile marketers self-serve capabilities to improve their ad segmentation on a pre-bid basis, and eager to

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For just $1,000, anyone using a mobile device can be tracked using mobile adverts

Audience and consumer data collection practices are common among mobile advertisers and big companies. However, new research by the University of Washington reveals that data collection is not only restricted to the big players. Instead, it costs just $1,000 to track a person’s mobile location using mobile app adverts. The study proposed that anyone could exploit digital ads to collect private user information. It tested this hypothesis by using targeted ads to reach specific people by their gender, age or device IP address, location and operating system. The authors write: “[W]e find that an individual or small group with a $1000 US Dollar budget can use targeted ads and a DSP to track the locations of targeted individuals as they move from home, to work,

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Vpon boost partnerships to enhance its mobile advertising platform

Vpon Big Data Group, the Asian tech group, has recently expanded its mobile advertising platform by partnering with the New York Times (Chinese version), Camera360, Qunar, Youdao, Skyyer, OpenRice, Movie Express, and others. Through these partnerships, Vpon has boosted the data collection and audience targeting of its cross-border marketing solutions. The company hopes that this should expand flexibility for advertisers to reach audiences globally. Arthur Chan, APAC General Manager at Vpon Big Data Group, explains that the improvements across the company’s inventory allow advertisers to reach their intended audiences. “These collaborations have built on top of Vpon’s strong foundation of Data Management Platform, which allows the platform to enrich audience profiles and behavioral data to the next level. The partnership can surely actualize the power of data

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Week in Review – What happened in mobile advertising this week

Adobe wants to make it easier for marketers to manage their digital ad campaigns when they’re on the go. The company recently launched the Adobe Advertising Cloud mobile app, which allows advertisers to oversee their cross-channel ad campaign by bundling the features they need to ensure a smoother performance. LinkedIn may have finally found a way to make money. The company is going to sell video adverts which users can view in their feed. The ads will auto-play with no sound. Currently in closed beta testing, the video ads are only available to a few select advertisers. Although testing is restricted to just a few hundred companies right now, this could expand in the future. Facebook this week acquired tbh, the social polling app which focuses on rewarding users

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Pinterest rolls out Search Ads for all businesses

Pinterest has officially opened up its search ads to all businesses. The format can now be found in its Ads Manager. Search Ads make it easier for businesses to target consumers who are looking for specific products on Pinterest. Indeed, exact phrases and keywords can be matched to reach an intended use, but irrelevant words may also be excluded to narrow down search results. According to a blog post, more than 2 billion searches happen on Pinterest every month and 97% of these searches are unbranded. That makes it “an effective place to reach people while they’re still considering their next buying decision.” Pinterest is a visual blog, which means that it’s easy for people to find ideas and get inspired. Additionally, Pinterest is also

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Innovation: Tapjoy launches new mobile advertising format to make video ads more interactive

Tapjoy, the mobile app advertising platform, launched a brand new mobile ad format this week. Called Interactive End Cards, the format is part of the company’s its Interplay Advertising Suite. Interactive End Cards have been created to turn traditional video ads into more interactive, rich media ad experiences to engage consumers with branded stories. 20th Century Fox was among the first advertisers to test the Interactive End Cards. The production company promoted War of the Planet of the Apes by featuring a full-length video trailer and interactive slider that users could swipe to reveal more information about the film. At the end, tickets could also be purchased. Overall, the campaign had an 88% video completion rate and a 4% click-through rate to purchase tickets. That’s

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YouTube speeds up detection of videos with extremist content

It seems that YouTube is becoming faster at detecting and omitting violent videos from its app and site. The company began rolling out anti-terrorism measures in June to detect and remove offensive content. In order to do so, it partnered up with experts to identify such contents and rolled out tougher video policies. According to the YouTube, 83% of videos containing violent content were removed before they received a human flag in September. That’s an increase of 8 percentage points over the firm’s August update. In addition, the extremism team manually reviewed more than a million videos to improve flagging technology. The company also acknowledged that the increased speed and volume of reviewed videos had led to some errors. In a blog post it said:

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WhatsApp now lets users share their locations

WhatsApp has introduced a new feature that lets app users share their location in real-time with family and friends. Although it may sound a little creepy at first, the company assured that the feature was encrypted for added security and privacy. The user remains in full control over who can see their location or not. Facebook has already launched a similar feature on Facebook Messenger. Usage is simple – once in a chat with a friend or family members, users simply click the live location icon and can then set a time frame for how long the location share will be visible. That has two benefits: it ensures greater user privacy by making the location share disappear after a while and also indirectly allows users

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IAB UK announces new set of standards to reduce ad fraud and improve the digital and mobile advertising experience

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK has launched a new initiative to address some of the main issues facing the digital and mobile advertising industry. Called the “IAB Gold Standard”, the initiative consists of three recommendations for media owners. Firstly, the aims of the Gold Standard include a reduction of advertising fraud in order to ensure a smooth ad experience and boost brand safety. The IAB recommends the implementation of the IAB Tech Lab’s ads.txt on all sites which carry ads. Ads.txt is a way for publishers to become authorised digital ad sellers. Secondly, the Gold Standard recommends that advertisers and publishers adhere to LEAN principles, a set of standards developed by the Coalition for Better Advertising which label 12 “bad” ads. The IAB hopes

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More fraudulent apps detected on Google’s Play Store

Fraudulent apps have returned to the Google Play Store; this time, as live wallpaper apps which have already been downloaded a total 1.1 million times. That’s according to new data from fraud protection software Anura by eZanga, which can identify bots, malware and human fraud. Anura monitors the app store regularly and found that since August 28th, three developers with Gmail accounts had uploaded more than 43 zombie apps. Once downloaded the apps generate clicks without having to be touched. The fraudulent apps had a script that was modified enough to slip past Google Play Protect. eZanga had previously reported that 1,300 apps in the Google Play store were containing code that engaged with mobile ads in sleep mode. Joe Rodichok, Director of Engineering and Technology at

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Ad blocked page views have increased worldwide compared to 2016

A new report by OnAudience highlights the extend of ad blockers and their usage. The report reveals that ad blocked page views have increased across all measured countries worldwide, anywhere from 1% in the UK to 232% in Brazil between 2015 to 2016. Merely in Albania, India, Slovenia and Portugal ad blocked page views decreased 16%, 10%, 6% and 4% respectively during the time frame. The impact on digital advertising markets is huge and has increased in line with growing display market values. Whilst in 2016 estimated digital display advertising losses due to ad blocking were $28 billion globally, losses are predicted to be around $42 billion in 2017. The report also highlights that despite using ad blockers, consumers are still contributing to global eCommerce

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Instagram may be able to deliver even more ads with this redesigned call-to-action bar

Instagram is updating its call-to-action bars for clickable ads to adopt a more blended look. In order to get people to recognise the ads, Instagram is trying to make them stand out more. The company replaced its ads’ call-to-action button with a horizontal bar a while ago. Originally, these bars were changing colour from white to blue to draw attention. The latest changes result in the call-to-action bar dynamically changing colour to match the ad’s main colour. The company hopes that the move will improve the user experience. At the same time, the redesigned ad bars will blend in better with an ad’s content to make the feed feel more natural. Whilst the blue bars were an obvious sign that the image was an ad,

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Video adverts are killing it on mobile – mobile accounts for 70% of video ad expenditure

According to the latest Internet Advertising Bureau UK and PwC Digital Adspend report, expenditure for video adverts has increased 46% the year over. The boost is largely driven by popularity for the format. In 2017, UK advertisers spent £699 million on video ads. Meanwhile, banner ads increased a mere 2% to £685 million. Video now accounts for 35% of all display ad spend, according to the report. Whilst people are spending more time watching video (from 51 minutes in 2014  to 2.21 hours a week in 2017), spending on outstream and social in-feed video formats almost doubled and has become the most popular format. It accounts for 52% of video spending (£363 million), ahead of pre- and post-roll formats that together make up 44%. According to Jon Mew,

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Facebook acquires positive social polling app tbh

Facebook has acquired tbh, the social polling app which focuses on rewarding users who  answer polls anonymously. To date, tbh has reached five million downloads and the app has around 2.5 million daily active users. The app focuses on positivity and lets friends ask nice questions about each other. The people who gave the answer remain anonymous. Tbh hopes to improve the mental health of predominantly teenagers this way. Indeed, whilst much of social media has been about showing off and competition, tbh is all about kindness. Overall, there have been one billion poll answers since the app launched in October 2017. Needless to say it’s a rapidly growing app. As part of the deal, all four co-founders of tbh will join the Facebook team

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53% of all Internet ad expenditure to be allocated to mobile in 2017

By 2018, 66% of people living in 52 countries will own a smartphone – up 3% from 2017. That’s according to new research from Zenith Media and its newly published Mobile Advertising Forecasts 2017. However, as ownership is nearing the 80%-90% mark, penetration has slowed down. The number of smartphone owners is forecast to grow by 7% in 2018, compared to 10% in 2017 and 14% in 2016. The outlook is similar for tablets, with penetration globally estimated to be 18.7% in 2017, up from 17.8% in 2016. Overall, it seems that penetration is stabilizing around 20% in 2019. The wider usage of mobile devices has led to an increased contact between brands and consumers, with branded content and additional social media engagement providing a

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