Another Attempt to “Fix” Digital Advertising

Everyone is trying to “fix” digital advertising.  And now the “geeks” who “disrupt” things have entered the picture,  which always reminds me of how the geeks  realize healthcare, too, is broken and needs fixing. But the geeks don’t know much about healthcare and have a tough time building products that really offer value to that industry, and the same thing will happen in advertising.

A few months ago, we learned about the launch of the Brave Browser, a browser that blocks ads and pays content providers with something called a Basic Attention Token (BAT), which is a form of digital currency. As a visitor to sites,  you buy BATs and they are paid out to content providers in micro payments when you use the browser.  Although we’re following this, we’ve seen too many attempts to replace advertising to believe any of them will work. People want their free digital content.

Now we’re seeing another attempt to use the blockchain to fix the digital advertising ecosystem. This one is called Papyrus, and it doesn’t attempt to replace advertising, but merely to make it safer and more transparent. It hasn’t raised its money yet, but here is an excerpt from its whitepaper:

The Papyrus project aims to provide just such a next generation ecosystem for a fair exchange of value between users, publishers and advertisers. We aim to deliver a postIndustrial marketplace where users control which ads they want to see, who has access to their personal information and market determined compensation for their data, attention and actions. In the decentralized Papyrus digital advertising market ecosystem, all parties will be incentivized to find equilibrium between their interests and resources to obtain maximum value for themselves or the organizations they serve.

That sounds fair. It takes into account the publisher’s need to have revenue, and the user’s need to control of her data, in addition to the advertiser’s need to reach its markets.

Its objectives are laudable:

Preserve sensitive data that users want to keep private while still enabling precise audience targeting using appropriate data processing; Compensate users directly for voluntarily sharing their personal data; Build a sophisticated value-based reputation system that significantly decreases the level of non-human traffic and other types of fraud between participants; Minimize the risks for advertising businesses from excessive government regulation, criminal attacks and security breaches; Increase the agility of all business processes by enforcing everything in real-time via blockchain smart contracts and state channels 3 to eliminate transactional bureaucracy, corresponding offline paper work and the need for traditional bookkeeping; Create an economy that incentivizes the developer community to produce more and more efficient applications that solve practical tasks in advertising; Dynamically balance the interests of users, publishers, advertisers and developers for smooth, accelerated and economically viable progress towards new and more efficient advertising products.

However, scanning the team we think that the company is probably located outside the US, which means the tech stack may be first rate, but the marketing will be slow.  Adoption of the blockchain won’t happen tomorrow, but it will probably eventually happen. While this is nothing to think about today, but at ZEDO we constantly think of both today and tomorrow. It’s how we keep our product development teams ahead of the game.

ZEDO Advertising Technology Updates – May 2012

VAST Events Report
Now you can track all sixteen IAB standard events for a VAST Ad in ZEDO. We added a multi-select box  in the VAST Ad template that allows customers to choose the events they would like to track for an ad. See below:

To see the report for all sixteen events, look under the  Reporting tab.  In this first phase we are allowing you to pull only the “creative summary report “ for all events. See below:

We plan to add more types and filters in upcoming releases.

Adhoc Report Read Only Access For CAT
Default Ad trafficker users can now allow custom ad.traffickers  read-only access to  Adhoc reports. See below:

My Preferences
As the name says this is a new section in our Admin tab which will allow you to set your preferences. You can change the default settings of our dashboard views, set the default rank ads settings and more, as displayed below:

We will continue to add more options in this tab in future releases

Dock Main Navigation Pane
As part of the effort to enhance user experience, the navigation pane now docks to the top of the page, and remains on the screen unless removed. This allows users to access the navigation easily, especially on lengthy pages. This project was led by a group of young developers at ZEDO, who recognized the importance of navigation in the UI and worked to give it prominence. See below:

Global Search Revolutionized
We have revolutionized our global search by adding simple commands that will allow you to jump to any page or any task. For example:

  • Type ” create campaign” press enter and jump to create campaign page.
  • Type “create ad in <campaign name> and jump to create ad of that campaign.

There are many more commands to help you jump to any page without any navigation. See below:

Things you can do next:
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ZEDO Advertising Technology Updates – 2012's First

We’ve been a bit too busy to update you monthly, so here’s a quick snapshot of some of the feature highlights from the end of the year.

Bulk Clone Ads – by popular demand!
Select multiple ads from a campaign and clone them with a single click (wuuuut?).  This is a huge time saver for cloning campaigns.  We plan to extend this in early 2012 to make it even easier to clone ads while cloning campaigns.

Targeting Icons added to Campaign Manager screen
A new column now shows all the targeting options applied to an ad.

Campaigns restriction for Advertiser User Accounts:
You can now specify individual campaign access for Advertiser accounts. This is useful when you want to restrict Advertisers from viewing data and reports of campaigns.

We’ve been a bit too busy to update you monthly, so here’s a quick snapshot of some of the feature highlights from the end of the year.

Bulk Clone Ads – by popular demand!
Select multiple ads from a campaign and clone them with a single click (wuuuut?).  This is a huge time saver for cloning campaigns.  We plan to extend this in early 2012 to make it even easier to clone ads while cloning campaigns.

Targeting Icons added to Campaign Manager screen
A new column now shows all the targeting options applied to an ad.

Campaigns restriction for Advertiser User Accounts:
You can now specify individual campaign access for Advertiser accounts. This is useful when you want to restrict Advertisers from viewing data and reports of campaigns.

Tearsheets Updates
ZEDO’s new tearsheet tool shows ads directly on a website.  The illustration below shows a quick links menu which appears when you mouse over the ad. Activate by clicking “Tearsheet”.

Billboard Ad format

IAB Billboard is one of six new IAB Rising Stars formats.  We have added a custom ad template for these ads.  The custom template is available on the Create Ad Page, using the Custom Code Generator link.

Cost-Per-Day (CPD) Properties in Ad Hoc Report Builder
Customers can now create an Ad hoc report template for CPD campaign reporting by including CPD properties such as “Days Targeted,” “Days Delivered,” and “Minimum Threshold” applied to the CPD campaign.

Inventory Forecast Report Improvements
Added a Quick Summary table in Inventory forecast report.

This summary displays the total Sold and Available impressions across your network or for certain channel / dimensions.  “Available” here includes any campaigns trafficked as Excess (remnant).

Inventory Forecast Reports also include a filter for Browsers.  Use this new filter in Inventory forecast reports to run forecast reports for various web browsers (limited to those available for ad targeting).

We also expanded the set of browsers to which you can target an ad to include the following new options:

  • Opera mini and Opera mobile in iPad, Android and other mobile devices
  • Internet Explorer version 9.x
  • Firefox version 4.x, 5.x, 6.x

Auto close time for Slider Ads
You can now set the auto-close time for ZEDO Slider Ads.  The default is 10 seconds.

More Options in Reach Frequency Report
We now support Reach frequency reports for Ad dimension, City, and State level data.

VAST ads using API’s
Users can now create VAST ads using ZEDO API

Support for Flash files with Multiple Click Tags
We have modified our create ad templates to accept and assign multiple click tags for the uploaded flash files as shown below:

This is supported for all templates that accept flash files.

Drag and Drop Creative in Create Ad
Users can now just drag and drop their creative from the desktop to the create ad form as shown below:

Processing Time Display
We have added live ad processing updates in Advertiser, Channel, Campaign, and Create ad confirmation page.

This feature will provide updates on the last processing start time and next ad processing schedule (useful when planning the launch of newly created ads for ad traffickers.)

Passbacks Excluded from Totals
We will now exclude passback impressions from the total impressions for ad networks in the ad network dashboard and profit reports.

This will help help optimization by reducing the discrepancy caused by passbacks.

Why Am I Serving Blanks?
We have also added basic explanations for blanks/default ads on the Rank Ads page.
A new messaging system shows you some reasons why blanks/default ads might be serving on a slice of inventory.  We are also making it more clear when fillers won’t serve, and why.

Admin Tab
The Users Tab has been renamed and repurposed to an Adminstrative panel.  Here, you’ll find a new subtab called “Setup”.

You can now set individual and account-wide preferences for various settings, including:

  • Ad and Campaign setup
  • Channel Setup
  • Advertiser preferences
  • Ad Tag options

We have big plans to expand this to many more individual and account-wide settings in 2012.

Pre-Book Orders (Reserve Inventory)
You can now prebook, or Reserve ads for an advertiser.. Reserved ads will be accounted for in Inventory Forecast reports, but will not go live until confirmed by ad operations.

Targeting Templates
Targeting Templates have been introduced to make it easier for ad operations to set up multiple ads with similar targeting requirements.

Alert Me When My Ad Is Live
SMS or Email alerts and updates about each stage of ad processing until it goes live.

Mobile Ad Serving is just the tip of our ad serving

Earlier this month, we announced our complete set of mobile ad serving tools. This year, we plan to round out our mobile ad server with more granular targeting options, more mobile app support and specialized mobile reports.

Our advertising technology solutions have been a boon to premium publishers, helping them to manage costs, improve margin, protect their bottom line, all while staying innovative in a constantly evolving market.

The ZEDO ad server combines best-of-breed features with a specialized architecture which allows for rapid, reliable ad serving. Our trafficking interface is easy to learn and use, our Executive Dashboards give managerial statistics at-a-glance, and our canned and custom reporting is flexible and fast.

ZEDO’s Ad Operations and Creative Services team is growing faster than ever, to keep up with our growing customer base. Customers around the world find relief and security with our overflow and full replacement ad operations models. Our experienced Ad Operations team can quickly manage your OAS, DFP, APT ad serving setup. While you let your team focus on your core competency, ZEDO can handle the rest, including staffing, training, and ongoing team management.

RevMax – ZEDO’s Yield Optimization service, can perfectly round out your ad serving needs by managing all your unsold inventory, guarantee brand protection through managing advertiser and content blocklists, complete data aggregation, and take advantage of our existing relationships with hundreds of ad networks, where we’ll fight for CPM on your behalf.

And that’s really just the beginning. We offer dynamic ad formats (and development of your ideas into new, innovative formats, I mean, have you seen the IAB Rising Stars?), a self-service plugin module, API access for all your ad serving data, and top of the line, dedicated customer service.

ZEDO Advertising Technology Updates – June

With half of 2011 now behind us, the ZEDO development team continues to produce innovative advertising technology for publishers.  We are most excited about our newest development – ZEDO mobile ad serving!  Read all about it in our latest press release here.

Run ads on mobile devices
Customers will now be able to run ads in the browsers of devices like the iPad, iPhone, and Blackberry, as well as other devices running the Android OS.

Added new COST PER DAY revenue model
Cost per Day [CPD] is a revenue model developed for situations in which advertisers want to pay a fixed price per day of a campaign, and don’t want to pay unless they get “enough” impressions.

The Advertiser can set a number of impressions (“minimum threshold”) below which they are not obligated to pay for a day, and a number of days (“targeted days”) within a broader campaign date range; After the ad has served at least the minimum amount for the number of days targeted, the ad will cease to serve. This gives publishers more flexibility for selling to advertisers.

Added support for tiling:
ZEDO now supports tiled ads. Now, Publishers can ensure that, on a page with multiple instances of an ad size, an ad will never be shown more than once per page view. To set up tiling in ZEDO, first create a Page (a set of the channel/ dimension combinations found on a web page).  Once you’ve set this up, ads of the same dimension that are targeted to that web page will behave as Tiled ads, never showing up in more than one space at a time, even if they’re targeted to multiple channels on that web page.

To learn more about ZEDO’s Advertising Technology products and services just contact us by visiting here.

ZEDO Announces the ZINC Exchange!

There are many ways that publishers and advertisers can sell and buy ad space. Today, the easiest and quickest way for advertisers to buy is with an Ad Exchange. Advertisers like exchanges because they are more transparent than ad networks and are easy and fast to use. For advertisers, there are no more sales calls from publishers or network sales reps. Instead, they choose to buy on their time in a quicker and easier way than our industry has ever seen before. They also remain in complete control. Exchanges are a great source of efficiency for agencies and advertisers. ZEDO, as you may have read today, is launching ZINC Ad Exchange.

ZINC is now in private beta and will soon be open to use by any advertiser. ZINC is different and better than other ad exchanges. Other exchanges sell remnant non-guaranteed impressions on a mixed bag of sites. The ZINC Exchange features only premium, guaranteed inventory – you choose and buy the inventory you want. There isn’t any remnant inventory. This is because the only advertising inventory you’ll find on ZINC is high-quality sites such as newspaper publishers from across the country.  The ZINC Exchange will offer only high-visibility, premium advertising positions on community and metro market news websites. ZINC’s web based interface offers real-time management of campaigns, instant reporting access at any time, and aggressive pricing that allows advertisers to maximize their media budgets. Inventory availability is clear and transparent – agencies see real-time inventory and actual pricing.

ZEDO CEO Roy de Souza stated in a recent press release that, “The ZINC Exchange offers an easy way to see prices, create a media plan, and instantly buy high quality, brand-safe ad space. The ability to do guaranteed buys with even delivery across the campaign is attractive to brand advertisers and agencies. I am excited to launch the beta today.”

We are thrilled to announce this new way to buy advertising directly from sites, specifically newspaper sites. Please contact us if you want to join the beta at

P.S. Come see ZEDO at ad:tech in San Francisco April 11-13 to learn even more about Zinc Ad Exchange: Meeting Room MR9 (Expo Hall level 2).


Click to buy guaranteed placements on newspaper sites.

The Ups and Downs of Yahoo! Last Week

The Down: We were concerned to hear about the difficult time Yahoo! endured last week when the company laid off 600 staff members. CNNMoney stated in, “Yahoo! layoffs: 600 jobs cut in long-rumored move”, that Yahoo “has struggled as it tries to reinvent itself beyond an Internet portal. The company has lost major market share in display advertising.  Personally, I wonder how this will effect online newspapers. In my response to this announcement today, I talked about how I feel that Yahoo! has had lots of missed opportunities (Read my full response here).

The Up: During the same week of their 600 layoffs, Forbes posted the blog entry “Here’s How Yahoo! Climbs Above $20 and Stays There this Time.  It is obvious that Yahoo! is diversifying its model. I just keep wondering, how will this effect newspaper publishers? Check out my response to this news topic on Forbes blog by clicking: here

My ending note: The internet is a fast industry with lots of innovation and opportunity.  No matter what is happening with Yahoo! ZEDO is here for publishers, especially newspaper publishers.  As a true partner for publishers, we will continue to do whatever it takes to provide you with more options, more visibility, and more ways to make more revenue.


Want to learn more? Contact us at: