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A few weeks back, Paul Muret, Google’s VP of Display, Video and Analytics, made several announcements about enhancements to the DoubleClick platform to support Programmatic Direct deals. Paul also shared that the number of Programmatic Direct deals transacted on DoubleClick Ad Exchange tripled in 20151 alone.

Everyone knows that programmatic is growing and is increasingly becoming the way we transact digital advertising. But what’s the deal with programmatic deals, or as we say, Programmatic Direct?

To answer that question, we dug into the data to analyze the key drivers of Programmatic Direct growth on our platforms. You can explore some of the data for yourself, with our interactive report: The State of Programmatic Direct.

Looking through Ad Exchange data from October 2014 to December 2015, one thing became incredibly clear: In every region, across every platform and publisher category, there are fascinating trends of adoption to be found.

Programmatic Direct has gone mainstream...

Depending on whom you ask, the history of programmatic exchanges can be traced back nearly a decade. However, it was only a few years ago that some of the world’s largest global spenders started making big commitments to programmatic and “programmatic” became ANA’s Marketing Word of the Year.

It hasn’t taken as long for advertisers and publishers to use programmatic technologies to transact the deals they’d traditionally buy and sell directly. In reviewing the data from DoubleClick AdExchange, we found that:

  • 90+ marketers on the Ad Age Top 100 Global Marketers list made Programmatic Direct deals in 20152.
  • More than half of the publishers in the US comScore top 50 list from December 2015 offered their inventory through Programmatic Direct deals3.

… On every screen

Programmatic may have been born on the desktop, but Programmatic Direct is taking off on mobile — probably not a surprise if you’re reading this article on your phone. Programmatic Direct impressions served on mobile and tablet grew 4x faster than desktop in the period surveyed4.

… In every region

The growth of Programmatic Direct isn’t limited to any specific country or region. So, where is it well adopted and where is it growing fast?

  • Programmatic Direct impressions in Ukraine, Turkey and Spain each more than doubled in just 12 months5.
  • Japan was the strongest adopter in APAC but Taiwan and Indonesia saw Programmatic Direct impressions grow more than 20% monthly6.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we dig through the data to share more insights. You can also explore our interactive research report to find additional trends, like how quickly Programmatic Direct impressions on mobile apps grew for game publishers in Japan. To get started, take a look at the infographic below.

Posted by Carlo Acenas
Associate Product Marketing Manager
Yamini Gupta
Sr. Product Marketing Manager 1 DoubleClick Ad Exchange data, year end 2014 to year end 2015.
2 DoubleClick Ad Exchange data, Oct 2014-Dec 2015. Minimum $1K spend.
3 DoubleClick Ad Exchange data, Oct 2014-Dec 2015. Cross-referenced with comScore 50 US list, December 2015.
4 DoubleClick Ad Exchange data, Oct 2014 - Dec 2015.
5 DoubleClick Ad Exchange data, Oct 2014 - Dec 2015.
6 DoubleClick Ad Exchange data, Oct 2014 - Dec 2015.

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Delivering a better experience for users has been our top priority since Google was founded, from the products we develop and the ads that we show to how we do business with our partners and clients. This will be on full display at the DoubleClick Leadership Summit, our annual gathering of large advertiser, agency and publisher clients beginning today.

This year, our focus is on how we can work together to create better, faster ad experiences across every screen, starting with mobile.

You can watch my opening keynote here, during which I shared updates about new innovations on the DoubleClick platform and how we’re helping advertisers and publishers adapt to today’s mobile world.

Making ads on the mobile web faster

Our research shows that the average mobile site takes 19 seconds to load. Think about that for a minute. That’s a long time! Not only is this frustrating for users but it’s also a huge missed opportunity for publishers -- we estimate mobile sites that load within 5 seconds can earn up to 2x more revenue than those at the 19 second average.

To help make the mobile web faster for users, Google joined a global community of publishers and other tech companies to launch the open sourced Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (also known as AMP). Early analysis shows that mobile web pages that use AMP HTML load four times faster and use 10 times less data on average than non-AMP mobile web pages.

AMP is already making a difference for a variety of publishers such as the Washington Post, which is seeing first-hand how AMP pages deliver great mobile web experiences that build user loyalty.

But just speeding up the content is not enough - slow-loading ads are also a problem. We’re announcing two new features that will make ad experiences better on the mobile web:

  • AMP for Ads - With AMP for Ads, we're bringing everything that's good and fast about AMP to ads. Unfortunately, most advertisers’ campaign creative are not fully optimized for mobile experiences. AMP for Ads allows advertisers to build beautifully-designed ads in AMP HTML so that the entire AMP experience, both the publisher’s content and the advertiser’s creative, load simultaneously at AMP-speed.
  • AMP Landing Pages - AMP Landing Pages are fast, custom pages, built by advertisers so that when someone clicks on their AMP ad, they continue to have an AMP experience. AMP Landing Pages are also built with AMP HTML so that advertisers or their agencies use the same process to create these pages as they do with AMP content pages.

Building the next generation of ads with DoubleClick

Over the past year, Google has been working with publishers to help them adopt native ads - ads that match the look, feel and style of their surrounding content on a publisher’s website. Users find this type of ad format useful, particularly on mobile. However, in the advertising industry, the process of building and trafficking native ads is still largely manual.

Today, we are announcing significant updates for native ads across our platforms that will help to accelerate adoption of this user-friendly format with programmatic.

  • For the first time, advertisers will be able to buy native ads programmatically in DoubleClick Bid Manager, across all screens. Instead of providing fully-designed creatives, advertisers upload the components of the ad - headline, image, text, and so on - and DoubleClick automatically assembles them to fit the context and format of the site or app where they appear.


  • For publishers, we’re now offering a complete native ads solution in DoubleClick. Publishers can now make native ad inventory across web and apps available programmatically or through traditional direct sales.

Creating value with programmatic

Programmatic buying delivers results, so it’s no surprise that brands and agencies are continuing to invest. Today, we’re excited to announce a new global partnership with one of the world’s largest entertainment brands, Time Warner Inc.

DoubleClick will work with all of Time Warner’s businesses, networks and brands, such as, Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Harry Potter and CNN, among others, as well as Time Warner’s agencies, for programmatic buying, ad serving, and measurement globally.

Time Warner is not alone in growing their investment in programmatic. We’ve seen tremendous momentum on our own platforms. In 2015 alone,

  • Programmatic video revenue for TV and media companies increased more than 6x on DoubleClick for Publishers.
  • Video spend by advertisers using Programmatic Direct on DoubleClick Bid Manager grew more than 7x.
  • The number of Programmatic Direct deals on DoubleClick AdExchange tripled.

Together with our advertiser and publisher partners, we've made huge strides in improving the digital ads experience for users. Digital ads can be lightning fast, engaging and as beautiful as the site and app where they appear.

We've come a long way from ads that just blink text in blocky boxes - and yet we know there is still work to do. Today’s announcements represent our continued commitment to help our clients and partners deliver better and faster ad experiences for users.

Posted by Paul Muret
Vice President of Display, Video and Analytics, Google

Visit the DoubleClick website at www.doubleclick.com next week for a series of articles with more details on today’s announcements.

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Join me on Tuesday, July 19th at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET for a livestream broadcast of my keynote address from the DoubleClick Leadership Summit (DLS). I’ll be sharing updates on the latest innovations on the DoubleClick platform and how we’re helping advertisers and publishers adapt to today’s mobile world.

At Google, one of our enduring principles is to “focus on the user and all else will follow.” This has been an important guidepost throughout our history, and it has never been more relevant than it is today. People are more ‘mobile’ now than ever before. We spend every waking hour connected to our devices. We expect to find what we want, when we want it. But with only a split second to engage and capture attention, user experience matters more than ever.

In my keynote, I’ll share an update on the technologies we’re developing to help advertisers, agencies and publishers create better experiences for people on the go. You can expect to hear more about Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), Native Ads, as well as new, more immersive experiences like 360 video. I’ll also be unveiling new product features to help our clients and partners more effectively reach, engage, monetize and measure audiences across screens.

I’m looking forward to the livestream on July 19th. Please register to watch here.

Posted by Paul Muret
Vice President of Display, Video and Analytics, Google

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Tune in on July 19th for the DoubleClick Announcements Livestream. Watch live as Paul Muret, Vice President of Display, Video Ads and Analytics at Google, shares new product announcements and DoubleClick's vision for the future.

Register and get the link to the livestream in your inbox before the event.

The event will be streamed live on DoubleClick.com on July 19th, 2016 9:00am PT / 12:00pm ET.

Posted by The DoubleClick Marketing Team

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Native advertising is an increasingly popular ad monetization strategy for publishers. The New York Times is an early adopter, and recently we caught up with their Managing Director of Ad Innovation, Nicholas Van Amburg, on what they’ve learned from running native ads. Here’s what he shared.

The New York Times’ first issue was printed in 1851 as a penny paper, and now, we share news with over one million digital-only subscribers every day. In our 164-year history, we’ve seen our readers shift from print, to computers, to mobile. Despite all of this change, however, we’ve remained committed to delivering the highest-quality content to our readers—whether it’s news, features, opinions or ads. First and foremost, it makes our readers happy. But, it also serves as an important foundation for a sustainable monetization strategy. Whether readers are interacting with our articles, videos, podcasts, or apps, our ads needs to be just as engaging as our own content.

To create a strong user experience wherever people are reading news, we’ve experimented a lot with our native advertising strategy. Here’s what we’ve learned:

Create effective ad formats that scale

One of our early experimentations with native advertising was a solution we called ‘Flex Frames.’ To offer the best user experience possible, we ensured Flex Frame ads behaved like organic content by matching the look and feel of surrounding contexts, both in terms of editorial content and across different platforms and devices.

While Flex Frames successfully adapted to the look and feel of our content, we faced roadblocks when attempting to scale -- our team was dedicating countless hours to coding and compiling ads for review by advertisers. To overcome this challenge, we partnered with DoubleClick and have realized significant efficiencies since.

Use data to make smart decisions

The ability to leverage our first party audience data proved crucial to our native advertising strategy, allowing us to place the right ad in front of the right person at the right time, both in terms of content and format. For example, we will serve a video ad rather than a photo story if we know a reader is more likely to view video content than view photos in a carousel. These highly-relevant ads produce excellent results with 6X higher CTRs with 4X more viewable impressions.

Launch and iterate

Metrics are important, and you have to know what to measure in order to decide whether ads are working for you and your users. It’s important to identify KPIs at the start of a project, and measure them regularly. These KPIs may differ based on the company, but for us, after running a variety of focus groups through our Consumer Insights Group, we found user engagement to be one of our most important KPIs. We want to know the ad experience is a positive one for our users—that our ads aren’t just tolerated, but that people actually opt to spend time with them. We’re constantly testing ads to understand what’s working and what’s not.

Educate sales and advertisers to see the value of native ads

We’ve been working with native ads for over a year now, but for many people, these ads are still relatively new. Even a year in, the hardest thing about my job continues to be educating sales teams about native formats. And the same goes for advertisers—it’s our job at The New York Times to demystify component-based ads and explain why they're better for the whole ecosystem. With more education, sales teams can better sell native ads, and advertisers will start opting for more native formats.

The next generation of native ads

Taking what we’ve learned so far, I believe the next big leap for native ads is to deliver more meaningful, contextually-relevant experiences across an ever-broader spectrum of media formats and devices. This is important because The New York Times isn’t just a paper or a website anymore. It's a website. It's an app. It's a host of touchpoints and experiences where the user sits at the core. We're headed for a world that lives on an incredibly fractured series of screens and touch points -- and our challenge is to make sure that we are meeting and exceeding users’ expectations across all them.

We recently released Native Ads on DoubleClick across all screens — on the web and in apps — to all our partners. Watch the video below to learn more about The New York Times’ strategy and approach to native advertising or continue to DoubleClick.com to read the case study.

Posted by Nicholas Van Amburg
Managing Director of Ad Innovation, The New York Times