Google Adds Subscription Income; Certifying Sales

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Google Begins Paywall Strategy

Google’s YouTube made it official yesterday: subscriptions are on the way for select channels.  YouTube’s “Team” writes on the company blog, “Starting today, we’re launching a pilot program for a small group of partners that will offer paid channels on YouTube with subscription fees starting at $0.99 per month. Every channel has a 14-day free trial, and many offer discounted yearly rates.” Read more, including who the content providers are. More on The FT (subscription).

Facebook’s Mobile Waze

Facebook’s reported offer to buy traffic/mapping app Waze for $800 million-plus would be its second mega-mobile deal and another big play for location data. On the Inneractive blog, Hillel Fuld says the move exposes Facebook for what it is. “Facebook is a mobile advertising company and the social networking aspect is simply a mask intended to hide the entire concept on which Facebook is based. In two words, data collection. But data collection is not the goal, it is the means. The goal is to bring hyper local mobile advertising to a whole new level.” Read it. Deal reports: Calcalist (Hebrew), TechCrunch.

Aol Sales: Certifiable

A day after Aol showed continued signs of a turnaround amid the possibility of slowing growth with its third-party network revenues, the company’s entire sales team will now be required to get “certified” by the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s digital media sales program. Whether that will translate into higher display revenues remains to be seen. But it could be a good promotion for Aol, particularly as rival portal Yahoo attempts to jumpstart its own sales force. Read the release.

Publisher Wants Profit

Say Media is laying off 10% of its 400-person workforce, according to Anthony Ha on TechCrunch. He quotes from Say CEO Matt Sanchez’s message to the remaining troops: “The time is right for us to transition aggressively to continued growth with profitability. To that end, we’ve made a set of hard decisions aimed at right-sizing our business with a greater focus on supporting our strong content brands, growing sales and building innovative publishing and advertising products — while at the same time achieving profitability in the second half of this year.” Read it.

Mobile Tool Fuel

Celtra, a company that helps clients create rich media mobile ads, has beefed up its offerings with the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Mobile Rising Stars tools. The new ad formats include pull (allows users to vertically pull a full-screen ad over the publisher content), slider (slides a banner over an ad), sticky banner (locks an ad to a designated area), filmstrip (multipanel ad) and full page flex (what it sounds like). Read the release.

MEC’s CookieCutter Attribution

WPP Group media shop MEC is introducing a digital attribution platform called CookieCutter, which the GroupM unit promises will “distill cookies into meaningful, results-driven insights and information,” Theresa LaMontagne, MEC's head of analytics and insight, tells Mediapost’s Steve McClellan. This moves attribution in-house and out of the hands of third-party vendors. It sounds like a good cost-cutting measure (pun sort of intended). But can the agency provide the kind of granularity for marketers that has lately come from somewhere else? Read more.

Need NewFront Data

A bunch of digital agency execs are calling on Aol, Yahoo, YouTube and other digital sellers to do better with their upfronts. Among the takeaways: give us data. In a letter published by Adweek they write, “Answer this question and you’ll have lots of folks like us leaning in and listening: What are the bridge-metrics that paint a portrait of a single piece of content or programming within the broader, non-linear Web of viewing and engagement?” Read it.

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