Here's today's AdExchanger.com news round-up... Want it by email? Sign-up here.
Sorrell On App Power
WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell took to the stage at the Mobile World Congress to express his awe at the power of apps, The Guardian reported. He certainly did his homework, aware, perhaps, that he would be following Mary Meeker’s extensive mobile data slideshow from last week: the average iOS user has downloaded about 60 apps per device and cumulative App Store downloads will overtake iTunes music and video downloads in a matter of months. But from an ad agency perspective, these numbers have spurred established brands to invest in mobile talent. "Apps are a classic example of this shift from broadcast to multifaceted engagement," he said. "They enable brands to connect with consumers at numerous touchpoints, whether at home or in the shops ... It opens a lot of opportunities for our clients, but also challenges." Read more.
Friend This Ad
RadiumOne has added social media functionality to display with its new "R1 Like Button." As the release explains, when a user "likes" an ad, the company's technology "will use that information to serve ads in the future that are specifically targeted to the consumer’s particular interests. Consumers will begin to see ads that reflect their personal preference in terms of product, message and style..." Read the release here, see a video about the new features and check out Techcrunch’s coverage here.
Today’s Privacy Story
ClickZ’s Kate Kaye says that legislative action is expanding in the U.S. Congress as former Saturday Night Live star and current Minnesota senator Al Franken "has been chosen to head up a new Senate privacy subcommittee. The newly-formed subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law was created by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat." Read more. Also of note, even Dilbert is getting wind of the consumer privacy and online behavioral ads debate – see the cartoon.
Research in Motion, the maker of BlackBerry, has acquisition social contacts service Gist, GigaOm’s Stacey Higginbotham reports. The deal is intended to give BlackBerry the ability to connect its mostly business-users social graph to e-mail advertising. Gist creates profiles of people in a user’s professional network by using publicly available information from provides like RapLeaf, which gathers public information from web surfers (and offers an opt-out of its coverage). BlackBerry did this as Apple and Google continue to make inroads into the enterprise business, which has belonged to RIM for so long. Read more.
Cross Pixel Media’s Alan Pearlstein says Facebook has the capability to create a whole new metric that can help buyers and sellers of online advertising. He writes, "Facebook is uniquely positioned to introduce engagement pricing. The average person spends more time with Facebook that any other web site providing the company with ample opportunity to create connections for their advertisers." Read his entire thesis.
Yahoo! has gone "all-in" with its social media integration as the company is adding hooks for Facebook and Twitter among others. The Wall Street Journal’s Amir Efrati writes, "Yahoo hopes the moves will solve one of its biggest problems—a 10% slide in the time users collectively spent per month on Yahoo sites last year, according to research firm comScore. Yahoo's internal research shows the main culprit for the slide is Facebook." Read more. How much longer until the Facebook ad network launches? That’s a huge amount of data that Facebook is gathering on Yahoo!
Small businesses have a tough time participating in the display marketplace. Sure, they can use Google’s self-serve system, but there are other options. Hollis Thomases, president and CEO of online marketer Web Ad.vantage, writing on Search Marketing Standard, offers a few tips. Read it.
M&A activity in the analytics space has been hot for the past few years. As the ad recovery got more steam over the past year, those deals became even more attractive, as marketers’ demand for ROI and accountability has become ever more insatiable. Now, HP has agreed to acquire Vertica, an analytics platform provider, DM News’ Juan Martinez reports. The purchase comes on the heels of Adobe’s acquisition of data management platform provider Demdex. Read more.
With a 50% increase in ads on videos since last May, YouTube should be seeing more top line revenue. In fact, Product Manager Shishir Mehrotra tells BusinessWeek that the "gain in ad-supported video views means that the company is making money on about one-fifth of its 14 billion weekly views." Read more.
Lead Gen Consolidation
Lead gen deals are almost as hot as analytics acquisitions these days. All Web Leads, the Austin, TX, insurance lead gen provider has bought on InsuranceLeads.com. Lead Confidential says the deal is part of an "amazing round of consolidation within the insurance lead generation category." The dealmaking is being driven by the rise of the space’s lead gen leader, Quinstreet, which has seen its stock rise 60 percent since its IPO, and Bankrate have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the past 12 months combining companies. Read more.
The Frontier Of Data
The notion that "more data trumps better algorithms," as postulated by artificial intelligence expert Peter Norvig represents a false choice, argues Joe Reisinger, chief scientist of Metamarkets in a blog post. He expresses the notion of an "efficient frontier" for dealing with the complexity and enormity of available data. "Prediction in real markets is a series of tradeoffs, and is most useful with a human in the loop." Read more.
More good news for agency holding company financials as Omnicom Group reported its Q4 2010 earnings on Monday and things are looking up as the company exceeded Wall Street expectations. According to Dow Jones Newswires, "Omnicom posted fourth-quarter earnings of $246.5 million, or 83 cents a share, up from $229.6 million, or 73 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 9.8% to $3.59 billion, on a 13% boost domestically and a 7% rise internationally." Read more.
What Your Startup Needs
Your startup may need a lot of things but Ralph Laing claims on myGengo that it needs a visual dashboard. He reasons: "What gets measured, gets done. (…) Humans instinctively respond to visual cues; (… So) Use visual dashboards for your startup." Read it all. (source: @jonathanmendez)
Online Video Works
The 13th Annual Mystery Shopper study is complete – I know you were waiting for the news – and the researchers found out that video works as a sales tool on an eCommerce website. Schwaa!!?? eMarketer makes some nice graphs for your next sales presentation to an eCommerce publisher here.