Xaxis Defends Business Model; New Ad Strategy For NYT Mag

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WPP’s Competitive Edge

In an interview with Beet.TV, Xaxis Chairman David Moore once again defends the holding company’s media buying/selling model. Xaxis is not a trading desk, he insists, it’s a media company. “The time and materials model has become an antiquated way of doing business in the media world,” he says, pointing out that other agency holding companies are starting to follow suit (*cough* Omnicom). Next, Moore outlines how WPP’s $25 million stake in AppNexus fits into its overall strategy “DSPs are going to become commodities,” he said. “The real competitive advantage comes from how you manipulate data and use it. We don’t want to invest in infrastructure anymore, we want to invest in competitive advantage.” Watch the interview.

NYT Mag Ad Makeover

In anticipation of The New York Times Magazine’s Sunday relaunch, Capital New York got to the heart of the publication’s ad strategy in a 60-second interview with publisher Andy Wright. “We have 121 advertising pages – 42 new advertisers representing 17 categories of business,” said Wright. “A single advertiser, eBay, bought 100 percent of the digital inventory for the launch issue, and that is a first.” NYT Mag is also interested in expanding traditional print formats into digital formats like podcasts and video, according to Wright. “You'll see new full bleed ad units in digital [and] for the first time, advertisers can sponsor entire digital issues of the magazine,” he added. Read on.

YouTube For Kids

On Monday, Google debuts a kid-friendly version of its Android app that will host both ads and original content. The simplified redesign will show only approved content, with National Geographic Kids, Thomas & Friends and LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow as early YouTube channels to be included. But youth advertising is a tricky market, and Google will curate which ads appear in the app through an internal approval process. Clicking through to an advertiser’s site will be disabled, and as an added precaution, Google tested the app with several children’s advocacy organizations, like Common Sense Media and the Family Online Safety Institute. Ad Age has more.

Mobile’s Exponential Growth

Investors threw more than $32 billion into mobile tech companies in 2014, according to research advisory firm Digi-Capital. The 68 most valuable mobile firms (valued at $1 billion or more) tacked on $28 billion to their combined value in Q4 2014 to total $261 billion, according to the data. By 2017, Digi-Capital estimates that revenue generated from the mobile web will surpass $700 billion, more than tripping 2014’s figures. Read on via VentureBeat. Meanwhile, the former CMO of mobile ad network Jumptap (acquired by Millennial Media in 2013), Paran Johar, sold his Mobile Media Summit business last week with an eye on global expansion, says a press release.

Audio Innovation

Marketers are testing new approaches to digital radio through sponsored hours and branded content, eMarketer reports. Advertisers like Sony PlayStation, Anheuser-Busch and Procter & Gamble are testing an “owned” hour of listening time on Pandora, for instance, where users experience an hour of ad-free streaming by engaging with an ad at the beginning of the listening segment. “We are looking at all radio-type advertising as audio,” said Ed Gold, advertising director at State Farm. “When I look at my overall budget—that which used to be called the radio budget but is now called the audio budget—we are going where the consumer is, so if more consumers are going to digital radio, we are following them.”

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