Yahoo! Buyout Rumors Swirl Courtesy Of WSJ; Google, NBCU Go Their Separate Ad Sales Ways; IAB Seeing Display Ad Gains

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Aol And PE Firms Line Up For Yahoo!

According to the Wall Street Journal's Jessica Vascellaro and Anupreeta Das, "AOL Inc. and several private-equity firms are exploring making an offer to buy Yahoo Inc." What's more - some of the assets within Yahoo! may get sold off as part of any buyout such as Yahoo!'s enormous stake in Alibaba in China as well as "technology" assets. Right Media Exchange, perhaps? Hmm, it would seem more likely that Aol would want to get its hands on RMX technology and its marketplace as Aol CEO Tim Armstrong builds a Google advertising competitor. He still wants to win display! Read more from the WSJ.

Google Loses NBCU

AdWeek's Steve McClellelan writes that NBC Universal and Google have "discontinued their ad sales partnership begun in 2008 (...) The split deprives Google's TV ad sales unit of one of its major alliances, although it still has deals in place with Dish TV, DirecTV and a handful of smaller networks like Ovation and the Tennis Channel." Is big media becoming wary (or warier) of Big G? Sounds like offering ads up for auction was not what NBCU had in mind. Read more.

IAB Seeing Display Gains

The IAB and PriceWaterhouseCoopers announced their latest ad spend research covering the first half of 2010 and PaidContent's David Kaplan notes, "The return of display was a big factor in the first half’s robust growth numbers. Part of it has to do with the fact that spending on brand campaigns has become a focus for marketers this year, as downturns tend to inspire more spending on direct response and lead generation—i.e., efforts that will have a more clear return on investment." Read more on PaidContent. Download the IAB Report (PDF). And, read the IAB's press release, which includes this nugget: "Display-related advertising—which includes banner ads, rich media, digital video and sponsorships—totaled more than $4.4 billion in the first six months of 2010, showing a significant increase of close to 16 percent over the same period in 2009."

Performance Culture

On the company blog, Epic Media Group COO Charlie Nowaczek explores what he calls his company's "performance culture" and may be inadvertently pulling back the curtain on the successful agency model of the future. Nowaczek lists several critical elements such as, "Achievement must also be incented, acknowledged and rewarded. Setting up and maintaining such performance management processes is challenging and time-consuming." Do agencies have time for this today? They better. Read more.

Reaching for U.S. Uniques

ComScore released its monthly list of U.S. ad networks paying the piper and making the Comscore ad network list. The ComScore Data Mine blog has the graphic for the Top 10 in U.S. reach. See it here. Yahoo!'s ahead with 85.9% reach, with Aol and Google trailing by a nose!

Journalism In The Age Of Data

Via Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) comes this bit of linkage to a video series called, “Journalism in the Age of Data” by Geoff McGhee. Data junkies get ready - it's all about data visualization for journalists as CJR writes, "In it, programmers and investigative journalists describe the many ways in which visualization can be used both as a tool to find patterns in huge collections of data, and to elegantly illustrate the stories that come out of those patterns for readers as well." Read the CJR article. See the video.

The Data Wrangler

In a new post on the Upstream Group blog, Doug Weaver offers to publishers "a five-step program for those seeking a healthy, controlled relationship with the world of third party data." Weaver adds to the rich lexicon of digital advertising technology in Step #2 of his program: "If you haven’t yet made 'data wrangler' part of someone’s job, you should. And once you’ve done that, start looking for the budget to make it someone’s full-time job." Read more about successfully wrangling data.

Another Facebook Lawsuit

In this Facebook lawsuit, "Facebook leaked a host of data about users who clicked on ads via the referrer headers, which allegedly transmitted enough data to marketers that they could identify the people who landed on advertisers' sites after clicking ads on Facebook," according to MediaPost's Wendy Davis. Read more.

Perfect Digital Media Planning

RocketFuel impresario Richard Frankel offers tips and tricks to digital display ad media buyers in an article on iMedia Connection. Frankel sees four requirements for the "perfect" digital media plan beginning with "Reach - (as in reach) lots of people who are good targets for your message." Read the other three.

Kantar Teeing Up Videolytics

WPP Group's Kantar Video unit (AdExchanger.com Q&A) is on the verge of launching its Videolytics - oof, don't like that name - public beta as it announced in a released its charter partners including Limelight Networks, Blip.tv, Brightroll, Brightcove, Kit Digital, Ooyala, ScanScout, Tremor Media and others. Kantar says that Videolytics will allow "advertisers, agencies, and content owners -- many of whom are already working with these partners - the ability to utilize Kantar Video's robust analytics, tracking, and optimization." Read the release.

Ad.ly Adds Facebook

All Things D's Peter Kafka reports on Ad.ly's (AdExchanger.com Q&A) move into Facebook as the company looks to expand beyond its Twitter advertising roots. Kafka writes, "Now Ad.ly is rolling out a second ad unit, specifically for Facebook–a display ad featuring the celebrity’s endorsement. The start-up is packaging the two ads together to advertisers as the 'Facebook Bundle' and promises that it can deliver eyeballs for less than $5 per 1,000 views." Read more.

Scanning For Fun And Profit

Remember the movie "Scanners"? Me neither. I blocked it out. On Adotas, writer Gavin Dunaway makes a QR code for his band with bit.ly's new QR code service as the scan happy world increasingly intrudes into the oxygen of non-digital life. Dunaway says about bit.ly, "The link shortening pros have enabled users to add “.qr” to the end of a shortened link when inserting the copied code in a new browser tab or window — click return and up pops a QR code (along with a little fish) that can be printed out, copied into emails, posted on Facebook, etc." Read more.

Local Is Hot

xAd, which has been around since 2001, has reached into the venture capital pockets of Emergence Capital Partners and come out with $4 million in cash according to an article by VentureBeat's Riley McDermid. He writes about xAd's technology: "In an ideal xAd scenario, a potential consumer is walking down the street, doing a search on his phone. xAd sees what he’s searching for, knows where he is, and knows his past click-through behavior. Based on all of that, it delivers him the most appropriate ad from its network. The promise to advertisers is that, with xAd, they’re getting the highest possible click-through for their ad." Read lots more.

Patenting Intent

According to a release, Where, Inc., "North America’s largest location-based media company," says that it has been granted a patent in the U.S. called Auto-Snap which "creates an association between a person and a place, [and] enhances the ability to derive intent resulting in improved relevance of place recommendations." From here, if that really is the interpretation by the USPTO, the affect could be huge on competitors. Where also has a display ad network, which it says uses the Auto-Snap feature. AdMeld mobile maven Marc Thiermann notes in the release that Where has "a strong pool of advertisers, and we count them among the best ad networks in the space." Read more.

 

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