One year ago, the Washington Post decided it was done working with third-party ad-tech partners and instead started building its own slick tools and ad formats to tackle industry problems like speed, fraud and viewability, reports Adweek.
The Adweek article, in part, added:
“So, it started an internal group called Research, Experimentation and Development (or RED) that now includes a team of 10 to 15 engineers and product employees who are laser-focused on making ads faster and better for both marketers and other publishers like Toronto’s The Globe and Mail who license The Washington Post’s ad technology.
“”I said let’s invest in a team of engineers that just focuses on the commercial side of the business—nobody is saying, ‘Why don’t we have our own ad builder or build our own video product,'” said Jarrod Dicker, head of ad product and technology at The Washington Post.
“”Let’s figure out and identify trends in the space like speed and identify issues like ad blocking, fraud and viewability and build technologies that solve these that don’t just benefit The Washington Post but can then be white-labeled and sold throughout the industry.”
“In the past year, The Washington Post has reduced its mobile ad loads by 75 percent with new fast-loading ads and has also built its own content-recommendation tool called PostPulse. Now it’s putting its focus on video with a new version of an ad format that crunches big video files into fast-loading clips that change size and shape based on what the advertiser wants—essentially letting marketers experiment with formats like autoplay for Facebook and vertical-oriented ads for Snapchat before investing heavily in the platforms themselves.
“The new ad format—dubbed FlexPlay 2.0—includes faster load times, higher video resolutions, compressed file sizes and supports closed captioning and longer videos up to 30 seconds long. Forty brands including Lincoln, Giant Foods and Morgan Stanley have run FlexPlay campaigns this year, with completion rates reaching more than 50 percent.”