Digital Ad Trends: DCN, Amazon, New York Times

Monitoring the latest digital ad trends finds an effort for more transparency, an elephant in the room, and a major player making a major move

Digital ad trends are as volatile as any in the industry, with highs and lows aplenty. Ad blocking, viewability, tech concerns, juggernauts like Google and Facebook, programmatic, native … the list of issues goes on and on. At Mequoda, of course, we encourage publishers to diversify revenue streams in order to achieve multiplatform balance with subscriptions, email marketing, online libraries, and other products, but there’s no denying that digital advertising is a big driver for successful magazines.’s CMO Today has some relevant recent articles in this department. Let’s have a look at their latest!

Digital Content Next to Launch Online Ad Network Exchange

What if instead of undertaking an effort to block ad blockers, you created a product to neutralize them? One publishing trade group is doing just that, the’s CMO Today reports.

“Digital media trade body Digital Content Next is launching an automated online ad marketplace called TrustX, in a bid to bring more transparency to online advertising. The ad marketplace, or ‘ad exchange,’ will allow marketers to buy ad space across properties owned by 25 media companies, including ABC, Condé Nast, Hearst, NBCUniversal, the Washington Post, Meredith, ESPN, Vox Media, and News Corp, which owns The Wall Street Journal,” Jack Marshall writes.

“The marketplace will function as a non-profit subsidiary of DCN and is designed to help restore some transparency to the increasingly complicated online advertising supply chain, according to DCN Chief Executive Jason Kint. With no outside investors and no profit motives, TrustX will focus on driving long-term benefits to marketers and publishers, DCN said.”

Is Amazon the Next Digital Advertising Titan?

Can Amazon emerge as a competitor for digital advertising revenue alongside Google and Facebook? The’s CMO Today says quite possibly, with a caveat.

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“For example, the company could make a bigger play for mobile search dollars–an arena that is less dominated by Google than search on the desktop Web. Amazon is also one of the few companies in position to track people across multiple devices, a big advantage in the mobile ad game. The company could mount a bigger challenge to Facebook’s Audience Network, which essentially aspires to run ads on every site on the web. Or Amazon could charge into the nascent world of advertising on connected TVs,” Mike Shields writes.

“Despite all this potential, plenty of ad industry executives wonder whether Amazon is totally committed to building its ad business. After all, the company derives the vast majority of its revenue selling everything under the sun online, and is busy with a variety of other projects from original TV programming to package-delivering drones.”

The New York Times Discards Display Ad Model for In-House Approach

The Times is taking the step of eliminating display ads in favor of a proprietary model, the’s CMO Today reports.

“On Wednesday, the Times will begin phasing out the industry-standard 300×250 and 300×600 pixel banner ads that currently appear on the right-hand side of its desktop webpages,” Marshall writes.

“Instead, the Times will introduce horizontal Flex Frame ads, which will appear along the top of webpages, between paragraphs in article pages and in feeds of content elsewhere across the site. These ads will be designed to better match the Times site, and will dynamically adjust in size and layout across different devices and window sizes. For instance, a Flex Frame ad for GE might include an image, text and link in a larger rectangular format across the top of an article page. The same components can also be seamlessly reorganized by the Times to appear in a mobile ad between paragraphs that allows the reader to scroll through the three main elements of the ad.”

Which digital ad trends are you tracking? Let us know in the comments!

To read more about digital ad trends and other industry news, visit’s CMO Today.


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