Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

Google, Facebook Call an Ad Tech Truce: DoubleClick Is Coming to the Facebook Exchange

October 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Diaframma / Google and Facebook are the Web’s biggest advertising heavyweights, and fierce rivals. So it wasn’t surprising that when Facebook launched its Facebook Exchange ad-selling platform in 2012, it ended up working with just about everyone in ad tech except for Google. But now that is changing. Google announced today that its DoubleClick unit will soon be working with Facebook Exchange, which lets advertisers show ads to Facebook users based on their travels outside of Facebook’s pages . In English: Facebook is going to sell ads to Google’s ad buyers.

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Foursquare Opens Up Its Self-Serve Ad Platform

October 14, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Asa Mathat / If you want to be a big Web/mobile company that makes money selling advertising, then eventually you need to give small advertisers the ability to buy ads from you without talking to another human. Facebook built this kind of self-serve ad business a few years ago, and Twitter is building one, too . Google makes a ton of money from self-serve. And now Foursquare has one , too. If you’re a Foursquare user, you probably won’t notice any change to the service, but if you look very carefully, you may see more local shops and restaurants pitching you in places where Denny’s used to buy ads. The change is on the flip side, where Foursquare has built a platform that lets a local bar or restaurant buy an ad without ever picking up the phone. Foursquare started testing the software this summer , and says it has tried it out with a thousand buyers so far. Now anyone can buy an ad on a cost-per-action basis, as long as they’re willing to spend at least $50 a month. If Foursquare is going to be a standalone business, self-serve will be important. If it eventually ends up selling to someone like Apple or Yahoo, presumably for the value of the data it has built up over the last four years, its ad platform won’t really matter that much. What still matters a lot to Foursquare is whether more people are using the once-buzzy discovery service

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Life Is But a Stream at Yahoo These Days — But Will It Revive Ad Revenue?

October 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

If you look on any major destination content property on Yahoo these days — Finance, Sports, News — you get the picture pretty quickly. The presentation is a slightly numbing and decidedly robotic experience, a major shift away from Yahoo’s formerly edited and livelier content pages, removing almost all feeling that humans touched the page and underscoring that computer algorithms are now firmly in charge. Other than changing topics and different color schemes, the key properties all look exactly alike, an endless scrolling feed of news, now mostly from outside sources, with in-stream ads inserted periodically that look very similar to the content. It’s the ads, in fact, that are the real point. Arriving in April, these “Stream Ads” are now everywhere across the Yahoo universe, even in Yahoo Mail. The sponsored and targeted content is akin to those you might experience in Facebook’s News Feed, which has always looked this way. The move to embrace this native ad format — which Yahoo claims “matches the content and context of the pages” and works across all devices, especially mobile ones — is CEO Marissa Mayer’s big gamble on turning around what has become a very dicey situation for the Silicon Valley Internet company’s ever-declining advertising business. “This IS her big play on the ad side,” said one person familiar with the efforts with in-stream ads at Yahoo. “Everything else is just a sideshow to her.” That sideshow is largely referring to the depressing and persistently declining trends in Yahoo’s display business. While Yahoo has been upping its premium efforts — such as a billboard unit that drops down on pages with noisy movie trailers or flashy smartphone come-ons — many inside the company acknowledge that this is unlikely to turn the tide. Consider: In the last quarter, display ad sales dropped fell 12 percent from a year ago, with overall revenue dropping seven percent to $1.14 billion. And Wall Street analysts do not expect any dramatically improved results in the third-quarter results, set to be announced Tuesday after the markets close. While online advertising performance across the industry, including at rivals Facebook and Google, continues to rise strongly and in double-digits, it is expected that Yahoo will show little to no growth in its core business. Analysts are estimating that Yahoo will have 33 cents in adjusted earnings on revenue of $1.08 billion, compared to 35 cents on $1.09 billion in the same period a year ago. Mayer, who has been in the job 15 months, has acknowledged the problem in several earnings calls so far, noting that she is first focused on building up talent and products, before any being able to show any lasting improvement in revenue. Helping her out massively to bridge the gap is the gift that keeps on giving from China, in the form of a large Yahoo stake in the Alibaba Group. Its upcoming and ever-rising IPO valuation has kept Yahoo shares rising dramatically. Eventually, of course, the impressive work of Alibaba execs will not provide the lift for Yahoo, which is where in-stream ads presumably come in. Yahoo execs, who declined to be identified due to Mayer’s stringent no-leaks policy, said that Mayer has hopes that native ads will be a “third marketplace” for the company and, in time, its greatest driver of new revenue.

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Google Turns On Social Advertising, but Holds Back on Larger Personalization Play

October 11, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Google will soon include users’ names and faces as endorsers in its advertising, it said today , via a terms of service change that will go into effect November 11. It’s the kind of advertising (your friend likes this brand, maybe you will too!) that has grown familiar to users of Facebook. But since this is Google, the ads draw from a smaller pool of active social networking users, yet have the potential to be displayed on Google’s much broader network of websites. The endorsements will come from people who have opted into Google+, which has 390 million monthly actives across Google. Google said it plans to add the names and photos of its users onto its ads, once they’ve indicated they like something by giving it +1’s, comments and follows on Google properties. Users can opt out of endorsements if they wish. The ads will only be shown to people who could see that information already, whether it’s friends, family or public. So it’s possible that even people who don’t use Google+ will see endorsements based on public content.

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Microsoft Denies Report of Ad Data Being Harvested From Xbox One’s Kinect

October 7, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Asa Mathat / It’s still a month and a half away from launch , but Microsoft’s next-gen gaming console kicked up another messaging controversy over the weekend when Advertising Age reported that the Kinect camera, mandatorily bundled with the system, could be used to harvest marketing data about users. But Microsoft is flat-out denying that report, saying it was based on a misinterpretation of marketing and strategy VP Yusuf Mehdi’s onstage presentation at a marketing conference in Phoenix. The reporter did not interview Mehdi to confirm his interpretation of the speech, a company spokesperson said. The original report quoted Mehdi (pictured, top) as saying Microsoft’s strategy with the new console is to bridge offline and online worlds: “It’s early days, but we’re starting to put that together in more of a unifying way, and hopefully at some point we can start to offer that to advertisers broadly.” However, the company said that line was in reference to content that can carry over from the Xbox One into platforms like the second-screen companion , SmartGlass. “For example, just as Xbox SmartGlass allows companion mobile experiences that are synchronous to what is being watched on TV, advertisers could create new experiences unifying their content across devices,” the company said in an emailed statement.

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How to Sell Songs on iTunes If You’re Not Miley Cyrus or Katy Perry

October 3, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In the old days, a couple of years ago, the best way to sell digital music was to get your song featured in an Apple commercial . New option: Get your song featured in the series finale of really popular show. More than 10 million people watched the last episode of “Breaking Bad” Sunday night, which means more than 10 million people listened to “Baby Blue”, Badfinger’s 1971 hit. And, as reports suggested earlier this week, a bunch of people bought the song that very night. Nielsen SoundScan says more than 5,300 digital copies of the song were purchased Sunday night. For comparison’s sake, the song sold 200 copies in the previous week, and had never moved more than 1,000 copies in a week . But even a really popular TV show can only do so much, and a song that came out four decades ago is still no match for people who were born a couple decades ago. “Baby Blue” has indeed vaulted onto iTunes top sales chart, but it’s down at 27, well below multiple entries from Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus. Entertainment Weekly has a charming interview with Joey Mulland, Badfinger’s sole surviving member (who won’t see a big check from the sales, but presumably will sell more concert tickets in venues like Panama City, Fla.). The New Yorker’s Ben Greenman has a very smart piece about the way Very Important TV Shows use pop music these days.

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Lauren Zalaznick to Leave NBCUniversal

September 27, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Lauren Zalaznick is leaving NBCUniversal after 12 years, following a reorganization in February that put the networks in her portfolio under the control of Bonnie Hammer . In a memo to NBCU staffers, CEO Steve Burke on Friday said Zalaznick will stay at NBCU “to transition her current portfolio;” upon completion of that phase she will consult with the company “on digital media content and technology marketplace trends.” Zalaznick’s time at NBCU was characterized by an ability to make the sometimes disparate parts of the company portfolio flex in unison, particularly in the advertising world. Under her watch, Bravo became the No. 1 cable network for clients looking to reach affluent viewers. Over the past few years, she and Hammer acquired ever-broader and less-logical fiefdoms—Zalaznick oversaw Bravo , Oxygen and Style , but Hammer had E!; Zalaznick added digital and Hispanic responsibilities to her portfolio while Hammer took charge of the smaller Comcast nets. When NBCU brass scaled back Zalaznick’s responsibilities, stripping her of the networks in favor of an evp position that would find her managing the company’s digital division, the writing was on the wall. Although NBCU at the time vehemently denied talk of her imminent departure, insiders characterized the shift as a demotion. In the eight months since the re-org, Zalaznick has continued to be a visible part of the NBCU apparatus. In March, she appeared at SXSW to talk up TV Everywhere, and just weeks ago it was announced that she would receive the

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VivaKi Study: 2/3 of Zeebox Use Happens During Commercials

September 25, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It turns out that two-thirds of in-program social TV use happens during the commercial breaks, according to a study by research group The Pool (a division within Starcom) and commissioned by VivaKi. Per the study, viewer attention to the TV screen dropped to 23.1 percent during the ad breaks for users who have their iPads or smartphones out.

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Pinterest Promises Users It Won’t Mess Up the Site With Ads (Oh, and It’s Going to Do Ads)

September 19, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann today wrote a blog post justifying and explaining his company’s future and theoretical use of advertising, as a way of cushioning the blow for users of the site. What will Pinterest’s ads be like? Different and prettier and nicer. They’ll be called “promoted pins” (a la Twitter’s “promoted tweets”) and they’ll be ways for brands to pay to make their pins appear near the top of search results and category feeds. Silbermann told users that if they see such ads, it’s because Pinterest is going to start testing them for free, because it wants user feedback. A spokeswoman for the company said she doesn’t yet have images that show what the ads will look like, but that they should start appearing on the site in a few weeks. Silbermann wrote: I know some of you may be thinking, “Oh great…here come the banner ads.” But we’re determined to not let that happen. While we haven’t figured out all the details, I can say that promoted pins will be: —Tasteful. No flashy banners or pop-up ads. —Transparent. We’ll always let you know if someone paid for what you see, or where you see it. —Relevant. These pins should be about stuff you’re actually interested in, like a delicious recipe, or a jacket that’s your style. —Improved based on your feedback. Keep letting us know what you think, and we’ll keep working to make things better.

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New AOL Networks CEO Bob Lord Talks About Where the Online Ad Market Is Headed (Video)

September 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Lauren Goode/ATD AOL Networks CEO Bob Lord Earlier this week, Bob Lord, the new CEO of its AOL Networks, sat down at AllThingsD global HQ for a chat with me about his new job. A well-regarded industry veteran who was most recently global CEO of Razorfish and CEO of Publicis Groupe’s digital technologies division, he is now in charge of the suite of marketing and advertising services and technologies at the New York company. The job is largely centered on selling premium display, video and mobile network ads for the Web portal via its automated technology systems. As I noted when Lord was hired at the end of August , “AOL is hoping to use tech means to boost its business, but results have been harder to realize. While revenue rose in the recent quarter, profits declined. Lord is a good choice to help push AOL forward, with much ad tech experience over the years, especially at Razorfish.” Here he is talking about all that and more, including a book he recently co-authored, titled “Converge: Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology,” in a video interview: [ See post to watch video ]

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