AOL Bonds; LinkedIn's B2B Scheme

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More AOL Acquisitions?

On Tuesday, AOL said it will offer $300 million of convertible senior notes. This marks the first time that AOL has offered bonds since 2009, when the company broke away from Time Warner. According to The Wall Street Journal , AOL will use its bond earnings to fund new acquisitions and to buy back a portion of sold AOL stock. The notes will be exclusively available to qualified institutional buyers, and are expected to mature on Sept. 1st, 2019. Read the release.
LinkedIn’s B2B Master Plan

LinkedIn's got big plans to build a $1 billion B2B marketing business by 2017, according to internal documents first reported by Business Insider. The strategy follows in the wake of LinkedIn's recent decision to buy business-marketing company Bizo. The document clearly states, "Our long-term ambition is to build an integrated marketing and sales platform that provides a simple and effective way to reach audiences, nurture prospects, and acquire customers." LinkedIn VP of Corporate Communications Shannon Stubo Brayton declined to comment. Read more.

YouTube Boss Talks

YouTube's new(ish) head, Susan Wojcicki, spoke to Re/code about her transition, M&A and the company’s focus on advertising around its creators. “‘Google Preferred’ is a mechanism where we can get our top one percent or five percent to get more ad dollars, and really feature them,” she explained. “We’re doing advertisements promoting them as brands, like Vice and [Maker Studios’] Epic Rap Battles. Because we realize that promotion is a very significant part of the equation.” Wojcicki added that these sorts of ads have had a significant effect on brand lift and awareness, in addition to driving traffic. Read it.

High Standards For Sponsored

BuzzFeed expects to generate around $120 million in native ad sales this year alone, according to TechCrunch. But in so doing, the publisher risks jeopardizing its brand and, ultimately, alienating its readership. For a publisher that has rejected banner ads since day one, BuzzFeed invests a lot of time, talent and resources into generating native content for its brand partners. TechCrunch's Josh Constine suggests two things for BuzzFeed's long game: increased selectivity for native spots and targeted efforts to drive more traffic to its home page. Read on.

Addressing (In)Visibility

Viewability and video analytics provider Veenome launched an intelligence tool on Wednesday, designed specifically for measurement on YouTube. Dubbed the YouTube Channel Content Analytics tool, the tech can analyze video and audio content on any given channel and offer statistics to advertisers before ads are placed. This could help marketers strategize before ever launching a campaign, and is a step in the right direction toward addressing an industrywide lack of viewability. Adweek has the story.

Native Backlash

Writing for Digiday, JWT Atlanta's Todd Copilevitz takes an unapologetic stand against native advertising. Copilevitz, a partner of digital strategy, makes a case against the hype, arguing it’s on marketers to create meaningful content independent of publishers. “Why is editorial content so powerful?” he asks. “Because it doesn’t sell. It informs, tells a story, pulls back a curtain. So take a cue from that and figure out what stories your brand has to share.” Read it.

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