Facebook's Ad Spend Attraction; Alibaba IPO Eve

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Facebook, Money Magnet

Facebook now attracts a greater percentage of ad spend than it does attention minutes, according to an eMarketer report. Nearly 10% of US digital ad spend in the US goes to Facebook, but the company only draws 7% of adult time spent on digital media. “While the cost of Google ads has dropped, Facebook ad prices continue to rise,” writes The Wall Street Journal’s Reed Albergotti. “How long advertisers’ exuberance for Facebook will last – whether it can turn into a permanent fixture in the digital advertising landscape like Google – is the question.” Read on.

Alibaba Day

On the eve of Alibaba’s big IPO, Re/code's Jason Del Rey muses on the company’s intentions for the US market and concludes it’s not super keen on selling to Americans. However! The company is “cutting deals with U.S. e-commerce and payments companies such as ShopRunner, Fanatics and Stripe, in an attempt to make it easier for American brands to sell to Chinese shoppers.” More. Follow the audience.

Spy Vs. Spy

Yandex increased sales to foreign advertisers tenfold over the course of two years, to $85 million in 2013, according to Bloomberg. That should give Google pause. “Good-quality services including search, online taxi and maps with real-time traffic jams allow Yandex to retain its loyal users,” said UralSib Capital analyst Konstantin Belov. “Still, its leadership isn’t guaranteed long term because the Internet environment is very dynamic. For instance, Google has a strong influence on Android-powered phones.” Read it.

Embrace The Data

Speaking to The Drum at DMEXCO, Mondelez VP of global media Bonin Bough shared some observations on programmatic. "When it comes to the element programmatic is playing in [the advertising] ecosystem, I think it has a bad rep,” he said. “A lot of people see it as a cost-saving effort, but from our point of view it’s very much a data opportunity and we think there is a data arms race in front of us." Identifying emerging technologies will be key for brands with the impending Internet of Things, he said.

Swrving Into View

Swrve has raised $10M to support its bet on mobile marketing automation and the transactional future of the smartphone. “As our conventional understanding of ‘e-commerce’ becomes increasingly obsolete and more and more consumers conduct business via mobile devices, it is platforms like Swrve that will control and grow the consumer relationship,” CEO Christopher Dean tells VentureBeat. Already, the company works with more than 100 firms that use Swrve to mine data on their best users. More.

Hurd ’N Catz At Oracle

Oracle’s executive landscape shifted significantly Thursday, when the company revealed Larry Ellison had stepped down from his CEO position. He’ll be CTO and executive chairman. Presidents Mark Hurd and Safra Catz (who is also Oracle’s CFO and will remain so) will both have the CEO title. Separately, Oracle reported total revenues at $8.6 billion, a 3% YoY increase. Combined revenue from its software and cloud businesses grew 6%, to $6.6 billion.

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