Archive for February, 2009

MSN shows new interest in alliance, but does Yahoo need help?

Posted by Mario Sgambelluri on February 24th, 2009 at 12:00 am

Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer's latest comments show he still "wants to pursue some sort of search deal with Yahoo" and find a way for the two companies to "pool their resources" in the struggle against Google. (paidContent)
In case you thought this trail was getting cold, there's been a fair amount of movement this year.
But does Yahoo need the help? Yahoo has been (rather surprisingly) adding search share for the last five months, while Google's actually (rather more surprisingly) lost share recently. (Motley Fool) 
paidContent also notes new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz feels Yahoo can do just fine on its own, as a whole. "This is not a company that needs to be pulled apart and left for the chickens," she said earlier this year.

The (micropublishing) dream is dead

Posted by Rich Cherecwich on February 24th, 2009 at 12:00 am

It was less than a month ago that Gawker Media president Nick Denton stood at the iMedia Brand Summit and proclaimed, "The results are in, the debate between optimism and pessimism is pretty much over, and the conclusion is [the outlook for 2009] does suck."
Denton seemingly proved his own point on Monday, when he announced that he had failed to find a buyer for Defamer, his Hollywood gossip blog, and that the blog will now be folded into the flagship Gawker website. "The dream of micropublishing is dead," Denton boldly declared, and he may be right on the money yet again.

Earlier this month, Denton touted Gawker Media's new larger sized banner ads as the way of the future, but ad sizes mean nothing if advertisers don't invest in niche content sites. Gawker spun off three of its worst performing blogs last April, but those have managed to survive at new homes. The fact that Denton couldn't find a buyer for Defamer, one of Gawker's most well-known blogs, signals how bad the current economy truly is.

Nielsen Numbers – Video is Everywhere

Posted by Jayant Kadambi on February 24th, 2009 at 12:00 am

I guess a recession can't stop us from watching TV. Of course, it might just be because we're jobless and have nothing better to do. But being an optimist, I think it's a trend that is independent of the macro-economic disaster that we find ourselves in. Take a look at the Nielson report released yesterday, interestingly enough, titled the 3 Screen Report, measuring viewership across TV, the Internet and Mobile.
I've written recently about history lessons backing my assertion that as video is syndicated onto many formats and distribution channels and platforms, the resulting total audience grows because there are more people who have access to the video. And, content owners should stop fretting over lost revenue and instead rake in the accretive revenue.  When I find facts (or even theories) that support my own hare-brained theories, I feel compelled to drive the point home. The Nielson report shows TV viewership up, DVR viewership up and Internet and mobile video viewership up and to the right. Video consumption being up and to the right is a great trend for all of us in this business.

IAB Thinking Big and Leading the Charge

Posted by Matthew Dipietro on February 24th, 2009 at 12:00 am

I've been at the IAB Annual Meeting for the last couple of days listening to the best in the biz talk about the great issues facing all of us in the digital media and marketing ecosystem. Despite the slowing growth in our sector and the abysmal economic climate, there is still a sense of energy, passion and immediacy in the room that I wasn't expecting.
In part, I think this is due to some great leadership on the part of the IAB. Randall and Wenda, the leadership at the IAB, have outlined in a very clear way the core challenges and opportunities for our space. They're thinking big and it seems to me that publishers and marketers are beginning to agree on the challenges, at least, if not how to overcome them.
Wenda opened the conference with a plea for creativity in online advertising saying we must all move beyond the chokehold that metrics, clicks and DR mentality have had on online advertising (riffing on her now-famous "pork-belly" analogy). Via ClickZ:
"Millard also took publishers to task for surrendering their inventory to third-party ad sellers and performance-obsessed agencies that don't have their best interests at heart. She blamed ad networks... Read more

Yahoos, in the Right Place

Posted by Abe Mezrich on February 24th, 2009 at 12:00 am

Yesterday, Microsoft announced the formation of a “Publisher Leadership Council”—a consortium of “digital media executives and discipline-leading practitioners, including charter members from IAC, Dow Jones Online, The New York Times Co., Time Inc. and Viacom Inc.” to “consult on the development of Microsoft PubCenter, its next-generation advertising platform for digital media publishers.”
As Silicon Alley Insider points out, the strategy is beautifully simple: Microsoft is getting its clients to develop its next system for it. Since the clients develop the system, it’s bound to please them. And at the very least, it will get Microsoft that much closer to the folks it’s hoping to sell to.
Silicon Alley Insider praises Qi Lu, Microsoft’s new head of its Online Services Group—recently poached from Yahoo—for spearheading the project and getting his career at Microsoft off to a great start.
I’d add that a Council like this must have felt natural for a Yahoo alum. After all, Yahoo is a mighty sizeable content publisher, and Qi Lu must have spent much of his time there developing the technology to help the content network monetize better. It’s only natural that he’d realize that content publishers have an idea or two to offer  technologists who are looking... Read more