Internet Brands Paid $2.8B For WebMD; The MRC Could Tighten The Display Viewability Standard

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The WebMD Is In

Your heart will palpitate after seeing the price KKR-owned Internet Brands paid for WebMD: $2.8 billion in cash. “Internet Brands aggregates traffic across a range of sites, which it in turn monetizes by way of an advertising network [and it] provides a large number of services to help health businesses find more customers…” writes Ingrid Lunden of TechCrunch. And according to The New York Times, 75 million hypochondriacs – er, monthly unique users – visit WebMD, which nets about $700 million in ad revenue. It’s a nice exit for the site, which survived the dotcom boom and bust of the 90s. More.

Flexing

The MRC could toughen its display viewability standard – 50% of pixels in view for at least one second – to match the baselines set by industry heavyweights like GroupM and Unilever that require 100% of pixels to be in view. MRC Senior VP David Gunzerath is noncommittal about changing the viewability stance but told Ad Age’s Jack Neff it will consider viewability for a project on cross-media measurement later this year. “We're constantly reviewing the measurement standards we've written to assess their continued relevance and effectiveness," he said. If the MRC were to use a 100% in-view viewability standard, it would close the gap between definitions of a view floating around the industry. More.

Moderation In All Things

Businesses that wanted to view their Instagram metrics used to have to do it on the Instagram app. But thanks to an update, those insights can be accessed through an Instagram API, meaning businesses can check their stats using tools from third-party vendors. The upgrade will also include comment moderation tools, like the ability to toggle comments on or off or hide certain comments. So commenters can spout all they want, but brands have more options on how to deal with potentially objectionable comments. It’s all in the name of brand safety. The feature is currently available for marketing partners and will open to developers this summer. More at Instagram’s blog.

Dead Men Share No Video

Why create content on Facebook if it’s just going to be ripped off by pirates? It’s a dilemma many creators have to deal with when they put their videos on the platform, and many were frustrated that Facebook seemed to ignore the issue. But now, Facebook has acquired Source3, whose technology detects intellectual property has been shared without permission. Terms weren’t released by Recode, citing Crunchbase, noted that Source3 just picked up $4 million in VC funding. More.

Watch Me

Even digital-savvy media companies have to adapt to keep up with the flood of video being consumed. Vice Media, one of digital media’s success stories with a $5.7 billion valuation, is cutting 2% of its workforce as it trims to focus on video. Sixty employees from sales, branded content, editorial and operations will be let go. Some vertical coverage like arts, culture and nightlife will be removed as a stand-alone channel in favor of a consolidated main site. The layoffs come a month after Vice announced a $450 million investment from private equity firm TPG. More at Variety.

But Wait, There’s More!

You’re Hired!

 

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