Facebook announced in January that it would no longer accept ad-serving customers for LiveRail and that it would transition existing ones to other products, and now it appears to be the end of the line for the programmatic video ad exchange.
The Wall Street Journal reported that LiveRail will be shut down, although the LiveRail brand may still be used on new ad tech products for video ads.
Facebook acquired LiveRail in July 2014 to help jump-start its video ad efforts, but the social network is now putting its focus on Facebook Audience Network, sending LiveRail down the same path as real-time ad-bidding platform Facebook Exchange, which is also being phased out.
A Facebook spokeswoman told the Journal:
We are discontinuing the LiveRail private exchange to focus on finding better ways for publishers to sell their ad space directly to advertisers, as well as expanding our video ad offering via Audience Network. This is what many of our publishing partners told us they wanted, and we believe this will make video ads more relevant to the people who watch them.
That statement echoes one from head of global publisher sales and operations Alvin Bowles following January’s announcement:
In the coming months, we will help all existing LiveRail ad serving customers transition over to our other publisher products or alternative ad servers. In either case, publishers will still be able to work with LiveRail and Audience Network to monetize and manage their ad inventory.
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 for some of the world’s largest publishers, including Hulu and A&E Networks.
Readers: What are your thoughts on the impending shutdown of LiveRail and the emphasis on Facebook Audience Network?