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The RTB Market, More Landscape Fun
Forrester Consulting has released its take on the real-time biddable market for display advertising in a study sponsored by AdMeld. Among the findings from Forrester, "We expect U.S. RTB spending to more than double to $823 million- or 8% of display spending - in 2011." Download the Forrester report (sign-up required). What's more, AdMeld released its own landscape of who the agency participants in the real-time biddable world are. Get it here.
Yahoo Board: Hippeau Quits, Kenny Sits
In addition to leaving his post as CEO of Huffington Post, Hippeau is leaving the Yahoo board of directors. Boomtown’s Kara Swisher notes, “Hippeau has been on that board since 1996, which is approximately 132 years in Internet time.” Sources tell her that Hippeau, one of the earliest investors in Yahoo, simply thought it was time to go, though he won’t be officially stepping down until the summer. Read Swisher’s full account. Replacing him is David Kenny, currently the president of online content delivery service Akamai Technologies; apparently he turned down the opportunity to sit on the Yahoo board last year. Previously Kenny held tenures as managing partner at VivaKi and CEO of Digitas. According to the Associated Press, “Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock called Kenny a ‘transformative figure in the industry,’ and thanked Hippeau for his dedication to the company over the years.” Read AP’s roundup.
MediaMath Dips in the Private Pools
It’s Valentine’s Day next week and DSP MediaMath wants to show its clients some love by giving them a taste from publishers’ private pools of inventory. The DSP has expanded up its TerminalOne platform with Private Marketplaces, which “enables clients to leverage algorithmic optimization and valuation on all premium online placements, lending deep insights to both brand and performance advertisers.” Mmm – sweeter than chocolate-covered strawberries. Swoon over the press release here.
Airlines Want Fare Control
Frequent flyers might have noticed that American Airline listings haven’t been showing up on travel sites Expedia and Orbitz lately – that’s because the airline wants to skip around central reservation systems and deliver fare information directly to travel sites. That’s right – American wants to cut out the middle man cutting into its bottom line and take back fare control. If American gets its way, airlines “would be able to try to lure customers with special offers or discounts, or make sure their cheapest fares show up only on certain Web sites,” analysts tell The New York Times. Read about the controversy here.
Time and HP Form Tablet Alliance
The iPad has been deemed the magazine industry’s savior, but publishers are peeved about Apple’s iron fist regarding customer information. However, Time and Hewlett-Packard aim to take a bite out of Apple’s publisher dominion – HP’s Palm unit just introduced TouchPad, its entry in the tablet stakes, and Time is the exclusive magazine publishing partner. “Several of Time Inc.’s titles will be available with a subscription option at launch, including Time, Sports Illustrated and People, to be followed by Fortune and other Time Inc. titles down the road,” MediaWeek writes. Read the full scoop here.
AudienceScience Dubs Tumri Preferred Partner
And lo, it was on Thursday, the Tenth of February that audience aggregator AudienceScience endowed dynamic creative optimizer Tumri with the weighty duties of the preferred partner. The two had embarked on many a campaign together during the benign beta partnership, where Tumri had proved its virtue in building scalable, audience-targeted dynamic creative through its mighty Ensemble tool. Jeff Hirsh, good president and CEO of AudienceScience, proclaimed, “Tumri Ensemble arrives at a strategic time for AudienceScience. Considering our technology enhancements and global expansion, the self-serve platform makes our display ad creation process more streamlined and the results show incredible opportunity for faster, better, dynamic creative and offer optimization.” After the forging of the preferred pact, there was much drinking of mead and merry-making with the maids. Read the full proclamation here.
Publishers’ RTB Conflict
Good President and CEO Jeff Hirsch of AudienceScience has also lends his sage wisdom to the great question of automated and efficient media-buying via real-time bidding. RTB has the potential to raise the price of publisher inventory, but only if publishers offers complete pricing transparency -- which is where they run into some channel conflict. “For a publisher to maximize their eCPM from RTB, they would need to essentially minimize the effectiveness of their own direct sales force.” Read Hirsch’s thoughts on the quandary here.
Akamai Reports Q4 2010
Akamai reported its Q4 2010 financial results and Wall Street was none to pleased. "Fourth quarter revenue grew to $284.7 million, up 12 percent from the prior quarter and 19 percent year-over-year, and annual revenue increased 19 percent year-over-year to $1,023.6 million," according to the release. This was better than Wall Street imagined but Q1 estimates were approximately $20 million less than first divined. From the earnings call transcript on Seeking Alpha, Akamai CFO Jay Sherman said, "In the advertising business, which does 40%, 45% of its total year revenue basically right around that holiday season. I think that went very well for us, and we're pleased with the results. I would say -- especially including we had a very strong December. You normally see a bit of a drop off there but we had a very strong December there. So that was very positive for the advertising business." Read more.
Cisco Needs Media
Cisco CEO John Chambers admitted on the earnings call for its Q4 2010 earnings that it is entering "a period of transition." Among other difficulties, "Cisco's misunderstanding of the consumer market is underlined by its strange choice to market a $600 video-conferencing system for the living room that comes with a $25 a month service fee," says The Wall Street Journal's Rolfe Winkler. Read about it. When will Cisco dip deeper into media in order to evolve?
uKnow Has Been Busy
You know who has no time? Targeting and optimization service uKnow. What, with the installing online media veteran Eric Bingham as president – you know, the former COO of Undertone and cofounder and SVP of About.com -- and the closing the $500,000 seed round of funding led by iNovia Capital and The New York Angels, oh and then there’s the preparing the BluePrint custom channel solution for launch… Oy vey – those uKnow workers are all going to have strokes if they keep this up. Read the exhaustive press release here.
Vibrant Gets Dynamic
Vibrant, chief purveyor of text ads that interrupt a good online read, has introduced a potentially less annoying ad unit: VIA Dynamic display ads employ Multivariant Creative Optimization to deliver dynamic creative that adapts to the surrounding content. Vibrant boasts its contextual targeting is a step up from competitors: “Unlike other one-dimensional solutions, the VX Platform leverages semantic analysis, frequency of words, page positioning, source code data, and demographics to determine contextual relevancy in the most accurate way.” Read the full press release.
Ant Smasher: A Mobile Ad Love Story
Even though players loathe them and they revenue they bring in pales in comparison to virtual goods and subscriptions, Google is trying to convince game developers that money can be made through in-game mobile ads – especially through Google’s AdMob unit. For example, a free version of Ant Smasher (which is as literal and charming as it sounds) has had wild success through running AdMob ads and promoting itself on other apps in the AdMob network. “It has been in the top 100 games on the iPhone for the past four months and in the top 100 games on Android for the past two months… The app is now on-track to bring in $2 million in annual revenue… with 80 percent of that coming from ads.” Read the mobile-ad lovefest here.
Mobile Ads – Now in 3D!
You may you can handle the excitement mobile display, but are you ready to view mobile ads… in three dimensions?!? Brace yourself as Cooliris and InMobi display their new scalable platform at the Mobile World Conference that will introduce next-generation 3D ads to mobile devices. The platform allows “advertisers to add 3D effects including lighting, shading, and motion to make their advertisements truly interactive and rich as well as the ability to run the ads at scale through InMobi’s global mobile ad network and improve monetization.” But will we have to wear those goofy glasses all the time? Read the full press release, which is sadly not in 3D.
500 Startups Turns on Incubator
Following in the footsteps of venture funds Y Combinator and TechStars, Dave McClure’s angel fund 500 Startups is launching an incubator fund that will endow startups with $25,000 to $100,000 and access to mentors in exchange for 5% of equity. TechCrunch reports that “that the program is going to have a big emphasis on distribution platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube.” Find out the initial 11 participants here.
But Wait! There’s More!