AOL's best year in a decade fueled by programmatic

If you ever wanted a clear example of how programmatic can slingshot a business forward, look no further than AOL in 2013. According to the company’s CEO, Tim Armstrong, AOL just came off its best revenue year in a decade and programmatic played a key role.

AOL reported a 23% year-over-year increase in advertising revenue and 63% growth in third-party network revenue. Growth was a driven by the sale of premium formats across the company’s programmatic platform, including revenue from

AOL Networks, the division of the company that deals in the intersection of “premium programmatic,” also saw marked success, experiencing an increase of 50% in its revenue year-over-year due to video, mobile and programmatic.

For more on the numbers, check out this MediaPost report.

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Facebook becoming one of the biggest players in RTB

With Facebook Exchange (aka FBX), Facebook is quickly becoming one of the larger players in the real-time bidding space. Its growth and potential are already leading to some to delcare it could become even bigger than Google’s AdX exchange. Business Insider recently released a report that sheds some light on this new RTB powerhouse in terms of how ads are purchased and how its grown and performed to-date.

Revelations in the report include Facebook already accounting for almost half of retargeted ad clicks on the web. Not only that, FBX has provided great early results to advertisers when it comes to performance and cost.

That said, despite its size, FBX only accounts for a small share portion of Facebook’s revenues. It’s not yet mobile-ready, nor does it provide access to Sponsored Story social-native ads.

If you’re looking for a good primer on Facebook’s real-time future, this is it.

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Introducing: SiteScout RTB 2.0 Beta!

by Ratko Vidakovic on January 28, 2014 · 1 comment

At SiteScout, our customers are at the core of everything we do. We are constantly striving to deliver a platform that advertisers can use to produce amazing results. That’s why we are thrilled to introduce a newly redesigned RTB platform that has many of the new and improved features you’ve been asking for. It’s been a long time coming – but it’s finally here!

Overall, there are about ten new things worth noting about the new design. We will go through each of them now, starting with the most important changes, and then finish off with some answers to a few anticipated questions.

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Publishers embrace real-time bidding as data takes centre stage

Publishers are warming up to real-time bidding (RTB) and there are numbers to prove it. A report from Econsultancy indicates more publishers are turning to ad exchanges and supply side platforms (SSPs), as well as using RTB data to improve advertising effectiveness.

According to Econsultancy’s Online Publishers Survey Report, 22% of publishers are using a Data Management Platform (DMP).

Last year saw a surge in interest in DMPs, largely due to the strong growth in programmatic and internal pressure to investigate big data. SSPs have seen the largest uptick in terms of use — increasing from 35% in 2011 to 67% in 2013 — and they’ve established themselves as a way for publishers to manage each impression and maximize ad revenue, the report says.

Finally, the report says revenue from online display advertising continues to grow at a steady pace.

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How to build a programmatic sales team in 4 easy steps

AdAge is making it easy for publishers looking to prep their operation for programmatic sales. A recent article from the publication provides four easy steps for building a programmatic sales team.

The first step for publishers is to make sure their ad ops can handle programmatic campaigns. The second step is to watch for conflicts while starting to push programmatic, and the third step is to turn programmatic sellers into internal consultants.

The final step for publishers involves getting direct sales teams to sell programmatic. As the article says, “the day where a chunk direct sales are transacted through programmatic platforms may not be far away.”

If you’re a publisher and want more details around these four parts of building a programmatic sales team, this is a good place to start.

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Happy Holidays from SiteScout and Centro!

by Ratko Vidakovic on December 23, 2013 · 0 comments

We hope everyone enjoyed 2013 as much as we did – it was an amazing year!

To view our special interactive holiday card, click on the image below:

Please note: The SiteScout offices will be closed for the holidays on these days:

Tuesday, December 24
Wednesday, December 25
Thursday, December 26
Wednesday, January 1

The ad quality and customer service team will still be working remotely throughout these days, so we expect that creative review and ticket support will continue uninterrupted. If you have any urgent situations or emergencies, please send an e-mail to

Have a happy holiday season and see you in 2014!

RTB Zeitgeist: Is Apple getting into the RTB game?

by Ratko Vidakovic on December 23, 2013 · 0 comments

Apple is building an RTB platform to sell in-app ads

Apple is looking to automate the sale of in-app ads, and so the tech giant is reportedly looking at real-time bidding as a solution. According to Adweek, the company is currently in the process of building its own RTB exchange while its iAds team focuses on selling Apple Radio inventory.

The majority of iAds’ revenue comes from in-app advertising and the iAds sales team has been integral in helping developers monetize apps, writes Adweek’s Garett Sloane. While Apple is attempting to grow revenue from iTunes Radio, Sloane says it’s keeping the development of its RTB exchange “under wraps,” possibly because it’s trying to figure out how to transition from previous aggressive sales efforts.

Sloane cites an insider as saying it’s unclear if the exchange will be limited to mobile.

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RTBZeitgeist: How big is real-time bidding really?

by Ratko Vidakovic on December 9, 2013 · 0 comments

How big is real-time bidding, really?

RTB spending is certainly increasing, but the question of how big the RTB market really is changes depending on who you talk to says Digiday’s Jack Marshall.

In his article, Marshall cites figures from eMarketer, which recently projected that $3.37 billion will be spent through RTB channels in the U.S. this year. That accounts for 19% of total digital display ad spending. Magna Global predicted a bigger RTB spend for 2013, at $3.9 billion, while J.P. Morgan’s projections were much lower, clocking in at $2.5 billion.

Marshall says vendors have an even less conservative view on how the numbers will end up; the Rubicon project believes upwards of 40% of online display advertising is traded via RTB, whereas agency folks say anything more than 20% is “probably the product of irrational exuberance.” Until analysts can agree, he concludes, anywhere between 15% and 50% will have to do.

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Are the mobile & video revolutions all just talk?

As programmatic buying — specifically real-time bidding — continues to grow at breakneck speeds, mobile and video are starting to win the most attention for being growth-drivers. In an article for Marketing Land, SiteScout’s Ratko Vidakovic sits down to meditate some of the discussion and explain what’s true and why.

So what’s noteworthy? In mobile, the area in which RTB will have the greatest impact is with reporting based on location as defined by GPS coordinates. Zone reporting will have a massive impact on campaign optimization, as advertisers will be able to take campaigns right down to the neighbourhood, and even street intersection level.

With video, as with everything else that RTB has touched, advertisers are realizing the kinds of efficiencies it brings. Thanks to RTB, video advertisers can run retargeting campaigns that combine spend and efficacy and high ROI with high impact video ad units.

Want to know more about the impact mobile and video will have? Here are Vidakovic’s fireside musings.

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RTB Zeitgeist: The urban legends of programmatic

by Ratko Vidakovic on November 11, 2013 · 0 comments

The Urban Legends of Programmatic Advertising

Ad tech can be complicated enough without urban legends making things even more cloudy. Thankfully, Digiday’s Jack Marshall decided to poll publishers and agencies on fact VS. fiction and shed light on the truth behind programmatic.

For example, are programmatic and real-time bidding the same thing? Are publishers being “outgunned” by buyers? Will technology replace people in the world of advertising? Is it true everything can be bought programatically now? Will all media inevitably be biddable? Is programmatic ready for prime time?

These are among the top issues Marshall covers in his article and if you’re not sure if about any of the above, this article is for you.

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Epic News: SiteScout + Centro!

by Paul Mokbel on November 5, 2013

Today we are very proud to announce that SiteScout has been acquired by Centro, an ad technology company based out of Chicago. The past three years have been an incredible ride that leave me with a warm feeling of nostalgia when I think about our humble beginnings. At the same time, I am also extremely excited to be closing this chapter of the story and beginning our next adventure with Centro.

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Ready or not, RTB is revolutionizing mobile

If acquisitions and investments by companies like Twitter are any indication, mobile real-time bidding (RTB) is hitting its stride. In an article for Venturebeat, Adam Landis articulates how RTB is changing the game for mobile advertisers, he assures publishers they can take advantage of the technology, and provides perspective on a bright future for mobile RTB.

With RTB spending forecast to increase substantially, and with massive momentum pushing the industry toward RTB, the shift to mobile will be significant, writes Landis. The transparency it brings will be a big boon to mobile advertisers, and publishers who understand its dynamics will be able to benefit.

Landis says money moving to RTB will significantly change mobile advertising and result in a more efficient and liquid market. While some publishers may find the transition tough, it’s up to them to take initiative and find ways to benefit from the new mobile status quo.

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Real time bidding is how it started: is programmatic buying the future?

Real-time bidding is the start of something grand, a movement that’s changing media buying as we know it. It’s leading to a future where online advertising will be facilitated through a whole bunch of programmatic solutions. For that future to be fully realized, however, education must be a priority for all players in the programmatic ecosystem.

In an article for Memeburn, Jaco Lintvelt of DQ&A International Media Group South Africa does an excellent job of highlighting many of the programmatic options that are currently available to advertisers and publishers, like preferred deals and private exchanges. He also points out some of the key elements needed to ensure that growth continues, such as specific performance metrics and quality inventory.

There’s a lot to be excited about as the programmatic space continues to grow. And RTB is just one component.

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RTB Zeitgeist: 5 myths about real-time bidding

by Ratko Vidakovic on September 30, 2013 · 0 comments

5 myths about real-time bidding

The world of RTB has grown quickly and become wildly popular in recent times. As a result, we’ve seen a lot of statements made from people and organizations who want to simplify and help more people understand how RTB works. But not everything you hear or read is true, or more specifically, some statements are simplified to a point that you may have been left with the wrong impression of real-time bidding.

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Webinar Replay: SiteScout RTB New Features Tour

by Ratko Vidakovic on September 23, 2013 · 2 comments

Last week we hosted a great webinar covering many of the new features on SiteScout RTB, which include: hyper local targeting, conversion testing, view-through conversion tracking, private marketplace deals, email performance reports, and exclude WiFi.

(For the best viewing experience, we highly recommend watching with HD enabled in full screen mode.)

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