IBM To Buy Weather Co. Data Assets; Hearst Strikes A Deal With Lena Dunham

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Weather Nears Sale To IBM

IBM is near a deal to acquire digital and data assets of The Weather Company, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. “IBM is particularly interested in Weather Co.’s forecasting group, WSI. That division houses technology and weather data that the Weather Co. collects, manipulates and licenses to companies ranging from airlines to utility companies to insurance providers.” Oh, and advertisers, courtesy of the Weather FX platform. Read more.

Newsletter Alchemy

Lena Dunham’s newsletter, Lenny Letter, struck up a monetization deal with Hearst. In her newsletter announcing the change, Dunham said, “The resources afforded by this partnership simply allow Lenny to exist and to grow.” Hearst will get to publish posts from the newsletter and funnel its readers across related sites, including Elle, Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire. Lenny Letters isn’t a full-blown pub, but it provides a juicy option for Hearst to sell advertisers on campaign extensions. Read more at Adweek.  

Time For Something New

In related female audience news, Time Inc. acquired two sites, xoJane.com and xoVain.com, that cater specifically to younger women. Terms weren’t disclosed, but Jeffrey Trachtenberg of The Wall Street Journal pegs the price at $20 million. The deal comes less than a  month after Time purchased HelloGiggles, a women’s lifestyle site. The xo sites come with relatively small readerships, but the struggling print publisher has pursued a similar strategy with Sports Illustrated, building tangential audiences by buying niche sites. More.

Data Estate Sale

A&P might be tanking, but the supermarket chain’s data isn’t going down with the ship. The company filed for Chapter 11 in July, and now Tim Baysinger reports for Ad Age that its customer data, websites, social media accounts and more will be chopped up and sold off to the highest bidder. There are no specifics about what data and assets are on the block, but one known quantity is A&P’s loyalty program, which includes the user archive and software for serving targeted coupons. Read on.

Always More To Discover

Snapchat keeps floating trial balloons in hopes of hitting it off with advertisers. A new offering lets brands effectively create their own “sponsored” publisher channels within the app’s professional content-centric Discover section. Previously they could only target users who follow anointed publisher partners, such as ESPN or BuzzFeed. Re/code’s Kurt Wagner underscores that the offering is still being evaluated, and is not a regular feature. Read on. Next pitch: Would you like to boost your brand channel with some paid media?

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