Yahoo Without Alibaba; Native Ad Spending To Increase

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Yahoo, The Hunted?

After spinning off its $39 billion stake in Alibaba, Yahoo can focus on its Internet business. And it may be more approachable to strategic buyers. Once the spinoff is complete, Yahoo’s estimated market value will be less than $10 billion, “a more digestible amount for a private equity firm or another Internet company,” writes New York Times reporter Michael de la Merced. But in the meantime, analysts doubt Yahoo will plan any major acquisitions. “Despite speculation to the contrary, we don’t consider larger acquisitions — Flurry, BrightRoll or Tumblr-sized or larger — unless they really align with mobile, video, native or social,” Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer told analysts.

Sizing Native

Two-thirds of marketers will increase their native advertising spend this year, according to data from the Association of National Advertisers. But of the 127 marketers surveyed by the ANA, 68% said native advertising is 5% or less of their ad budgets. "The main benefit of native advertising is the ability to create extremely relevant associations between the brand and consumer via content," reads the ANA study. "Given today's media landscape, where consumers can avoid ads more than ever, advertisers are looking for new ways to get their messages noticed and acted upon." Ad Age has more.

Digital Media Ascends

Re/code’s Peter Kafka reports Business Insider’s valuation may have doubled in its latest round, to approximately $200 million. Sources tell Kafka BI likely generated $30 million in revenue last year, a notable jump from 2013’s $18 million. Across the board, investors are throwing money at publishers like Vice, BuzzFeed, Vox Media and Mashable, and Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget says there’s a reason. “There’s no question in my mind that everything is going digital. And there’s no question in my mind that a bunch of companies have figured out a model that works.”

White House Tackles Data Collection

The White House is picking up the pace on a planned online privacy bill, with the proposed measure expected to surface next month. At its core, the bill would limit the ability of companies like Google and Facebook to access consumer data while also bestowing upon the Federal Trade Commission more regulatory clout. If passed, online advertisers, mobile app developers and other Internet players would have to obtain consumers’ expressed permission before collecting or sharing data, and firms would face government fines for failing to adhere to the proposed measures. Read more via Politico.

EA’s In-Game Ads

Electronic Arts has a new in-game ad product, called EA Engagement Ads. The format incentivizes gamers to engage with rewards, and brands like GMC, McDonald’s, Ford, Kellogg’s and Paramount are onboard. The real kicker is what the ad format could mean for gathering engagement data via mobile devices. “We can help players advance in games courtesy of brands,” EA’s SVP of global media solutions, Dave Madden, told The Wall Street Journal. “That’s much easier to scale in mobile.” More.

Amazon’s Q4

Amazon clocked $1.6 billion in the Supplemental Revenue category for the fourth quarter, up 43% year over year. Amazon's Advertising Services are characteristically bucketed alongside cobranded credit cards and North American Web Services. Analysts peppered Amazon execs with questions about its “roller coaster” of a profit margin each quarter during the company’s Q4 earnings call. Shares, however, shot up in after-hours trading despite a $29.33 billion revenue total that was just shy of Wall Street’s expectations. Read the earnings release.

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