Microsoft Makes Billions, Online Services Up; FatTail And STRATA And Workflow; DSP DataXu and Agency Goodby

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Microsoft Makes Billions

More record revenue from a public tech company as Microsoft announced that for Fiscal Q4 2011 it had made "$17.37 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2011, an 8% increase from the same period of the prior year. Operating income (...) for the quarter was $6.17 billion." That's more than double the operating income that Google reported. Just sayin'. Read the release. And, see slides (PPT). All Things D's Kara Swisher reports the company beat Wall Street expectations led by the Xbox 360 results and she notes, "Even the revenue at its perpetually money-sucking Online Services division was up 17 percent." . Read it. And, read the earnings call transcript from Seeking Alpha.

SSP Meet Workflow

Sell-side platform (SSP) FatTail announced a new integration with media buying workflow and software firm STRATA. The release says that the partnership will allow STRATA's "media buying agencies to purchase digital assets more efficiently and allow for a faster and more accurate ordering process." In other words, if you're a media buyer, you will be able to make display ad buys from FatTail's publishers through STRATA's buying software. This is similar to other announced solutions such as MediaBank offering services via its recent AdBuyer acquisition, or Donovan Data Systems enabling purchase of Rubicon Project inventory. Read more. Is there an exit for an SSP through a workflow solutions provider - or visa versa?

Exit Google

Crain's New York Business' Judith Messina believes that Google is the exit for some New York City ad tech firms (like Admeld and Invite Media) and covers the overall M&A momentum saying, "At least 10 New York companies have been acquired in the 12 months through June—five of them in just the past six months. Last summer, Google picked up Invite Media, an ad-tech startup that works with advertisers to deliver display ads across various websites." Read more.

The Marketer Spends

What do you do if you're a marketer with $1.4 billion of ad spend that need to be managed. For Comcast, it means you split the labor between WPP Group and Publicis. According to Ad Age's Alexandra Bruell, the review process leading up to selection was grueling, "Finalists had to develop complete media plans for multiple brands and present them to a majority of the company's 40 international and U.S. business units." And do it all (the review) for free! Read more.

For The Video Ad Seller

eMarketer has repurposed some ValueClick Media data from the end of June which says that consumer recall is highest with video ads when comparing among many digital channels. Get the graphic for your PowerPoint.

Value-Based Optimization

DataXu CEO Mike Baker asks agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners to tag along for an interview on MediaPost with Laurie Sullivan. She reports, "DataXu CEO Mike Baker said brands and agencies have been asking for value-based optimization. It factors in the price of the item that consumers view or purchase to identify the value of customers." Read how it relates to Goodby.

How Big Is The Data

IA Ventures' chief Roger Ehrenberg is burning up the VC blogosphere with his latest post revealing his own data-driven investment themes. Ehrenberg offers one theme: "The value of data aggregation, cleansing, normalization, indexing and streaming (data processing platforms), where massive real-time streams can be pushed to the desktop for customized filtering and analysis, made accessible via API for incorporation into live models and indexed and stored for historical analysis." Yes, we can! Read more.

Consumers On Privacy

Doug Weaver shares some thoughts from his moderation of a panel of consumers at the recent Evidon Empower event looked at privacy and online behavioral advertising, of course. Weaver offers, "Civilians don’t compartmentalize things like we do. To us, browser settings, cookies, computer performance, and the pervasiveness of advertising all fit into separate compartments of the brain. Not so much with these folks. To them, they’re all strands of the same giant hairball. You ad people are flooding me with advertising, making my computer crash, compromising my data and creeping me out. Solutions that approach data privacy in a vacuum are going to be a tough sell." Read it.

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