Over a year ago, Facebook bought LiveRail, a “monetization platform for publishers, broadcasters, and mobile app developers” to drive forward its video ad business. Now, as the company has stopped taking customers on LiveRail, to instead focus on Facebook Audience Network.
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Facebook’s Audience Network has become a lucrative business, raking in over $1 billion in ad spend during Q4 2015. It has thus become clear that the company wants to concentrate on the Audience Network and some of LiveRail’s other areas, by stopping taking on any more customers on the platform.
In a blog post by Alvin Bowles, Facebook’s head of global publisher sales and operations, the company will be working on LiveRail’s programmatic private marketplaces and mediation services that it already handles for some “of the world’s largest publishers, including Hulu and A&E Networks.”,
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[quote]As we build out LiveRail’s programmatic private marketplaces and mediation services, we will continue to focus on native and video. We believe native and video are key ad formats and that programmatic platforms are the best way through which to deliver them. LiveRail already powers about 75 programmatic private marketplaces[/quote]
Current customers need not worry though, since there will be a transition for them to “other publisher products or alternative ad servers”.
[quote] Publishers will still be able to work with LiveRail and Audience Network to monetize and manage their ad inventory.[/quote]
Facebook regards it’s Audience Network as a great asset and wants publishers to view it as such. It’s also part of Facebook’s recent charm offensive towards publishers, which it is grooming for other things like Instant Articles. Facebook’s Audience Network is fully supported by Facebook Ads, which are highly valuable to advertisers. In any case, whatever Facebook does with LiveRail in the near future will be tied directly to its broader plans for Atlas, which it bought over two years ago in hopes of creating a massive ad network to counter Google’s dominance over the market.
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