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A bi-weekly summary of the most exciting recent news in marketing technology and trends. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • Spotify is going gangbusters on podcasting. The streaming platform developed by Swedish company Spotify AB has announced plans to purchase the narrative podcasting company Gimlet Media for US $230 million as well as Anchor, a platform for creating and distributing podcasts. Spotify’s expansion is fueled by a purchasing budget up to US $500 million year, according to reporting by Yahoo Finance.

 

  • The South American dairy company Conaprole has announced it’s the first business in Uruguay to launch a marketing campaign on Snapchat. A campaign to promote Yoprole yogurt product Banatilla on Snapchat targeted youths between the ages of 13 and 20. Snapchat offers the dairy products company the opportunity to build brand recognition among younger consumers, according to Alejandra Miranda, director of the Snapchat initiative.

 

  • Advertising technology giant Taptica has announced its intention to create a new, more powerful and independent video advertising company with the acquisition of RhythmOne. The programmatic video capabilities of RhythmOne, plus its expertise in connected-TV devices will be combined with Taptica’s subsidiary company Tremor Video DSP which specializes in TV retargeting.

 

  • San Francisco-based mobile and marketing analytics leader AppsFlyer predicts that investment in mobile apps will grow 65% worldwide by 2020. Their growth forecast foresees a 34% annual increase in spending on mobile apps each year.

 

  • A survey of 501 marketing and branding decision-makers by Bynder reveals marketers struggle most with deciding which technologies to invest in. Marketers also reported relying more on social media while they said they struggle with the threat of algorithm changes to online brand engagement.

 

  • Who’s more likely to click on your paid internet ads? A lot depends on your ad viewers’ ages and the search engine they use, according to an analysis by Clutch. Baby boomers (38%) were found to be the most prone to click on branded paid search ads, while Google users (36%) were more likely to click on paid search ads related to their searches. Viewers of ads on YouTube and Amazon (33%) were more likely to click if the ad featured a familiar brand.

 

  • Marketers are in love with influencer marketing, according to survey results performed by SocialPubli.com and published in the 2019 Influencer Marketing Report. More than 90 percent of marketers surveyed said they were using influencers to promote their brands, and 60 percent said they expect to increase spending on influencers this year.

What: Advertising platform Taptica announced the acquisition of Tremor Video‘s demand-side platform (DSP).
Why it matters: The transaction reflects further consolidation in the ad-tech space. Tremor Video DSP will operate as an independent division of Taptica, and will be led by Lauren Wiener. Tremor will now focus on its sell-side business (SSP), which has grown about 80% to about $34 million in net revenue over the last 12 months.

Taptica, an Israel headquartered global end-to-end mobile advertising platform  announced the acquisition of Tremor Video‘s demand-side platform (DSP), an industry-leading technology stack built for video optimization and attribution, for US$50 million. Tremor Video DSP will operate as an independent division of Taptica, and will be led by Lauren Wiener, who has served as Tremor Video’s president of buyer platforms for nearly five years.

Taptica claims that it maintains a strong hold in the DSP space worldwide, and this acquisition will significantly boost the company’s presence in the U.S. digital advertising market and Taptica’s position as the industry’s most complete and comprehensive marketing platform. Additionally, Tremor Video DSP has an established client base and a promising roadmap for further innovation.

220 Million User Profiles

Taptica, which has over 220 million user profiles with more than 100 data points on each that provide a precise understanding of user behavior for advertisers, will help accelerate the Tremor Video DSP business through real data differentiation. Taptica will continue to invest in and grow the existing business and products to become the leader in demand side mobile and video advertising. The natural alignment between these demand side focused businesses, Taptica and Tremor Video DSP, will help advertisers succeed.
“With this deal, Taptica strategically aligns complementary talent and expertise with Tremor’s demand-side platform to create a powerful market force,” said Hagai Tal, CEO of Taptica. “Tremor Video’s positive brand value and awareness in the U.S. will enhance Taptica’s solution and market positioning. Additionally, Taptica has found itself perfectly positioned both geographically and culturally to bridge the East and West, and our extensive business relationships in the APAC region and beyond will allow us to grow Tremor Video DSP globally.”

Mark Zagorski, CEO, Tremor Video said, “The business is in great hands with Taptica and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

>Taptica also recently announced the acquisition of Japanese mobile ad company, Adinnovation, which will further expand Taptica’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region. The company currently has offices in Beijing, China and Seoul, South Korea.Moving forward, Tremor Video’s business parts will be recognized separately as Tremor Video DSP, a Taptica Company, and Tremor Video.

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Codoon, the largest social sports platform in China, is pushing into the United States market after closing a $50M funding round. One of its apps, Runtopia, has 40M active users in the country, and Codoon has turned to Israeli mobile advertising platform Taptica to push it in the American market, driving user installs through Facebook. Could this be a sign of increased Chinese interest in breaking into the US digital market, and a continuing trend of Israel serving as a bridge between the East and West?

Runtopia connects users with an app that tracks runs, shares exercises and helps running enthusiasts meet each other, and contains a GPS and sensor for tracking. And there are plenty of running enthusiasts in the U.S.: in 2015, there were an estimated 60 million active joggers and runners in the country, with thousands of marathons and half-marathons taking place each year.
And while running apps are nothing new to Americans, Codoon is hoping to impress the American market with what they believe is superior technology. “The love of running knows no cultural barriers – we are targeting all running enthusiasts to enjoy Runtopia, who generally tend to be young professionals and smart device users,” said Xiaoyun Wu, Head of Sales and Operations for the APAC region at Taptica.

But for that to happen, the company needed a partner capable of providing a wide range of traffic sources. Enter Taptica and its proprietary technology, which leverages big data to enable targeting at scale so that brands can engage with mobile audiences, and has worked with companies like Amazon, Disney, Facebook, Twitter, OpenTable, Expedia, Lyft and Zynga.

Sports platform Codoon has the majority market share in China, and wants to expand in the U.S.

James Si, a vice president at Codoon, explained that Taptica’s acquisition of AreaOne, a long term Facebook Marketing Partner badge holder, made the company very attractive to them, as the company is “equipped with both the ad technology platform that fully automate Facebook advertising and its powerful DMP, which is fueled by the repository of big data from billions of impressions driven from the mobile campaigns.”

Codoon was also attracted to the fact that “Taptica has a truly international team, the perfect mixture of the West and the East,” and that “Taptica’s Beijing local office in Beijing provides warm, timely service to us, while Taptica’s American and Israeli team help us to understand the consumer habits acodoonnd the marketing techniques of the West.”

Wu added: “With our headquarters in Israel, along with offices in San Francisco, New York, Beijing and Seoul – we are truly an international company and we’ve localized in China so there is a blend of cultural and business similarities that help us work well together.”

Israel Serves As Tech Hub, Bridge Between East and West 

Israel has long been held in “high esteem as a hub of innovation,” said Wu. He also explained that China is taking advantage of Israel’s access to innovation to learn as much as possible to “position itself in an innovation economy,” while Israel also takes advantage of the relationship to learn about opportunities in the East.

China had long sowed the seed for innovation in the digital era.

“Israelis are more culturally similar to the Chinese than to the Americans, which facilitates negotiations and ongoing business relationships. We’ve heard over and over from our Chinese partners that the Israeli ‘can do’ attitude is something they can easily identify with.” Wu added. taptica

According to Si, Codoon has wanted to build up the Runtopia app for the American market from the get-go, signaling increased Chinese interest in the Western market. “We designed a totally different product for the American users,” Si said, based on the understanding that running habits are different in the United States than in China, “where the population is much more dense and concentrated in the cities.”

To these ends, Taptica’s proprietary technology leverages big data and machine learning to provide quality media targeting at scale, and designed full sets of creative based on the core audience of American runners, combined with automated keyword optimization, “which has nicely given us the best bang for our marketing dollars,” Si added. “In the future, we may develop further specialized applications: for example, we may even enhance the user experience by designing wearable devices for seniors that are less used to smartphones.”

Encouraged By Innovation, Chinese Will Push Into American Digital Market

According to Si, “going into the West is an important strategic move” for Codoon, and Runtopia plays a large role in that strategy for expansion: taking advantage of American users’ enthusiasm for running. “We are on the way to build one of the most interesting product in the world. We will keep on updating our product to meet American users’ needs,” Si elaborated.

Chinese development and innovation is moving at a very fast pace – they are leading the way in mobile – and it will be interesting to see how their globalization efforts change the mobile landscape in the years to come.

But why are companies like Codoon pushing into the United States now? The answer is simple, in Codoon’s case: the company has the majority market share in China, and wants to expand. “This is a trend that we’re seeing from lots of innovative Chinese companies that are exporting superior mobile apps and sharing them globally,” Wu said.

In general, Wu asserted that the Chinese tech industry is focused on figuring out how to crack into Western markets.“They are not only becoming more comfortable with expansion, but they are becoming very good at globalization,” he said. While there are still cultural barriers that “can’t be overcome solely through technology,” partnerships like that between Codoon/Runtopia and Taptica are critical “because cracking culture is about working with people who have unique local knowledge.”

“Chinese development and innovation is moving at a very fast pace – they are leading the way in mobile – and it will be interesting to see how their globalization efforts change the mobile landscape in the years to come,” Wu said, expressing excitement for what could be to come.

Si agreed that “there is a lot of brain power in China, making promising products at an astonishing speed.” And since China has a huge population base, applications are updated by users constantly, and consequently, Chinese developers are very skilled. “China had long sowed the seed for innovation in the digital era,” Si concluded.

What:  Mobile platform for brands and app developers Taptica has acquired Facebook’s programmatic social marketing tech company AreaOne for US $17 million.
Why it matters: 83% of Facebook users are accessing the social network on a mobile device.

SR6LGQEk_400x400Taptica, mobile user acquisition platform for brands and app developers, has acquired programmatic social marketing tech company AreaOne, formerly known as SocialClicks,for US$17 million. Both companies will remain headquartered in Tel Aviv.

Taptica will leverage the mobile data it collects through its DSP to optimize Facebook buys. The company will add the majority of AreaOne’s 35 employees to its existing 135. In addition to its HQ in Tel Aviv, Taptica has sales outposts in San Francisco, New York and London. According to Tal, Taptica plans to hire aggressively in an effort to bulk up AreaOne’s Beijing office, tripling the current headcount of three within the next six months.

Of the 1.7 billion active mobile social accounts worldwide, 1.4 billion are using Facebook.

Of the 1.7 billion active mobile social accounts worldwide, 1.4 billion are using Facebook, according to We Are Social – and 83% of Facebook users are accessing the social network on a mobile device.

“From our perspective, [social and mobile] are effectively a single and very united channel – and data is the key building block for success around optimization,” said AreaOne CEO Alon Michaeli.

“AreaOne’s status as a Facebook Marketing Partner was a big part of what made it an attractive acquisition target,” said Taptica CEO Hagai Tal.“We want to be connected to the biggest and most important media supplier out there, and that’s Facebook,” Tal said.

AreaOne opened an office in Beijing in July where it services Chinese app publishers like Baidu, Cheetah Mobile, Snail Games, Changyou and poker game developer Boyaa.according to Tal, AreaOne’s established presence in China was a further motivator behind the deal.Specially, as chinese app developers are looking beyond their borders for new users outside of China, mainly in the US and Europe.

“We see the China market as a big blue ocean in terms of competitors,” Tal said. “And we want to have our foot in the door.”

AreaOne’s Beijing team is led by Xiaoyun Wu, who acts as head of sales and operations for APAC. Wu first joined AreaOne about three years ago after moving to Israel to pursue a postdoc in neuroscience and genetics.

AreaOne isn’t the only Facebook Marketing Partner to turn its attention to China. Nanigans, another Facebook Marketing Partner, raised US$24 million in Series B in March. The round was led by Chinese software company Cheetah Mobile, which has since been promoting the Nanigans tech to its in-country clients for overseas campaigns.

Tal, however, doesn’t want the market to look at AreaOne as just another Facebook Marketing Partner with an eye on China.

“We’re tracking 450 million users,” said Tal. “We’re combining Facebook with our mobile data to identify and target users. That’s our added value.”

Taptica was acquired for US$13.6 million in July 2014 by Marimedia, a British digital ad management platform that’s publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. Marimedia, which bought Taptica to get more into mobile, will soon be changing its name to Taptica and the combined entity will be marketed under the Taptica brand.

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