Signal 3.24.13: Fraud and the Internet Minute

In this week’s Signal: An Internet minute is nothing like a New York minute; ghost sites — inside the new breed of cheats; the reality of shifting ad dollars from TV to Web video; experiments with paid content reached a turning point in 2012; property rights issues are turning regular people into criminals; tapping into social media data can be expensive; balancing sponsored content’s whiff of desperation with its true usefulness… and more.

To the links …

What Happens in an Internet Minute? (Intel) Intel has came up with a figure that describes what happens in sixty seconds on the Internet: 639,800 GB of global IP data gets transferred. “Today, the number of networked devices is equal to the global population. By 2015, the number of networked devices will be twice the global population.” The infographic here says it all.

Meet the Most Suspect Publishers on the Web (AdWeek) A new breed of cheat is plaguing the exchange world: the ghost publisher. I’ve written about this before, but AdWeek’s story broke the programmatic industry into a sweat last week. These ghost sites are billed as legitimate media properties and look authentic on the surface, but few of these sites’ audiences are real people. Yet, big name advertisers are spending millions trying to reach engaged users on them. Mike Shields takes a look at six of these properties.

Want to Shift Ad Dollars Out of TV Into Web Video? Good Luck With That (Ad Age) TV advertising is expensive and campaign reach is declining thanks to audience fragmentation. So, many advertisers are now looking to shift their TV ad budgets to take advantage of multiplatform-platform video. But that might be unrealistic, says Ad Age’s Dave Morgan, because 97% of all video viewing in the U.S. still occurs on TV. “Whether the data is from Nielsen, Pew or eMarketer,” he writes, “all agree that only a small fraction of video viewing in the U.S. today occurs on devices other than the TV.”

Four Big Takeaways From Pew’s “State of the Media” Report (Pando Daily) If you’re in the news publishing biz, pay attention. Pew Research Center’s just-released State of the News Media 2013 report suggests that ads don’t cut it anymore and it’s time to start thinking about paid content models. Of the U.S.’s 1,380 daily newspapers, 450 have started or announced plans for some kind of paid content subscription or paywall. Expect to see a lot more action and experimentation in 2013.

Meet the Gatekeepers to Twitter and Facebook Data (AdAge) Facebook and Twitter have drastically different approaches when it comes to meting out access to the millions of conversations occurring daily on their platforms. Facebook has no agreements in place with data resellers, so, in theory, anyone who can code can get just as much out of Facebook’s Graph API as an enterprise-level service. Twitter, though, has three authorized resellers—Gnip, DataSift and Topsy—which can provision companies that need Twitter data to fuel a service.

WPP Admits Actual Prices Of Online Ads Are Often ‘Not Disclosed’ To Clients (BI) Rob Norman, WPP’s digital media buying chief, has admitted to arbitrage — the practice of buying media and then reselling it at a profit to clients without disclosing the original cost. He told Business Insider, “We never operate on a non-disclosed basis without the specific contractual consent of our clients. Around the world we have over 1,500 such specific agreements. It is our unshakeable belief that the agency/client contract together with whatever law operates in the relevant territory has primacy and is inviolable.”



35 CEOs, CMOs, VCs and media leaders in two days of unscripted conversation. Come to the CM Summit to join the conversation about “Bridging Data and Humanity.” New York City, May 21-22. The only conference this year curated by your faithful correspondent.

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Forget the Cellphone Fight — We Should Be Allowed to Unlock Everything We Own   (Wired) Kyle Wiens, co-founder and CEO of iFixit, believes that once we buy an object — any object — we should own it. “We should be able to lift the hood, unlock it, modify it, repair it … without asking for permission from the manufacturer,” he touts. While it’s true that copyright laws were originally designed to protect creativity and promote innovation, they are now doing exactly the opposite.

Sponsored Content: Slippery Slope or Lifeline? (Digiday) Brian Morrissey discusses the latest “boogeyman” of newsrooms — sponsored content: “News veterans are uncomfortable with the blurring of the lines between pristine editorial and grubby advertising,” he writes. “There are reasons to maintain church and state. Anyone who has been in publishing for more than a couple years has run into instances where the exigencies of the business side come into conflict with the principles of the edit side.” The world of sponsored content isn’t new, but because “native” advertising works, it’s gaining in popularity.

15 Alarming Stats About Banner Ads (Digiday) “The banner ad is now 18 years old,” writes Brian Morrissey. “It has become a symbol of all that’s wrong with online advertising. It is more often than not devoid of creativity; it stands out as an intruder on webpages; and it is mostly ignored by readers. And yet it continues to be a bulwark of the online advertising system.” Here’s just one of the 15 facts Morrissey provides that might make you wonder if there’s got to be a better way: “You’re more likely to survive a plane crash than click a banner ad.”

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Third-Party Cookies (AdExchanger) Eric Picard, CEO of Rare Crowds, details the reasons why third-party cookies aren’t needed by the ecosystem, and why doing away with them as a default setting is both acceptable and not nearly as harmful as many are claiming. It would put more power back in the hands of publishers, he argues: “It solidifies their value proposition as having a direct relationship with the consumer, and will drive a lot more investment in data management platforms and other big data by publishers.”

In Order To Build the Future Systems of Content, Forget the Past (Ad Age) Today, millions of people on social platforms are giving up millions of pieces of personal data in the form of content they create. Each post, tweet, etc., tells the platform exactly what a consumer is thinking and what content engages him or her. This kind of reach and data have never been available before, so brands need to rethink much of what was learned about digital creative and buying as it relates to bid management, re-targeting and banners, and start talking to people at a scale never before imagined — and in real time.