TV And DISH's RTB Embryo; Venture Capital 'Bifurcates'

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RTB Embryo

Satellite TV provider DISH may let advertisers see the analytics on what viewers are watching in real-time -- and then hold “last minute” auctions for the ad slots in the hottest shows.  DISH SVP Warren Schlichting tells Bloomberg’s Alex Sherman the “exchange”-like idea is still in the “embryonic” stage but explains, “The idea is to have certain commercial slots tagged as auctionable. If a show becomes popular with a demographic group, a company could bid against other advertisers for a 30- or 60- second slot. The highest bidder would win the right to air a commercial of its choice.” Read more.

French Ad Block Reversal

We noted yesterday that a French ISP had undertaken to automatically throttle ads across its network, at the router level. Now comes word that the company, Free, has backed down from that stance under pressure from France’s digital economy minister, Fleur Pellerin. The New York Times reports, “The company...has long balked at carrying the huge volume of traffic from sites owned by Google without compensation.” Pellerin is quoted as saying, “An Internet service provider cannot unilaterally implement such blocking.” More.

Mad Men To Math Men

The age of programmatic ad sales is still in its relative infancy and as such, the agency business is realizing that the Don Drapers of today need to be as mathematical as they are creative. Adweek’s Kristen V. Brown take a look at how the talent needs of the ad business are evolving, as Wall St. analytics specialists move to Madison Ave. “They might perceive [advertising] as not as dry as banking, not as bureaucratic, not as governed by regulatory issues,” says Rita Raz, a recruiter at Analytic Recruiting. “An ad agency might be more fun, or perceived as more fun.” Read more.

Much More For Less?

Econsultancy’s David Moth cites a survey from The Design Industry Voices, which interviewed 500 agency staff and found that 80% said client budgets have been reduced and more than two-thirds (70%) said clients expect more work in pitches for free. Read it. Stef Brown, co-author of the report and MD of On Pointe Marketing, said: "Social media was rife with free pitch examples in 2012, and some agencies are even beginning to name and shame those brands that are asking for free pitches. Times are tough, and it's all too easy to over-deliver in pitch and give too much away, especially when your peers have jumped on that bandwagon.”

IAC’s New Study Buddy

IAC, the operator of such sites as Match.com, The Daily Beast, Ask.com, College Humor and the CityGrid network of local guides, has expanded into education with the purchase of Tutor.com for an undisclosed price. The advertising proposition isn’t clear, but Tutor.com is a large buyer of lead gen and display ads. It will certainly have a lot of promotional help from IAC’s stable of properties. "Tutor.com has done the hard part, having built over many years an incredible nationwide network of high quality tutors ready to help students improve their learning,"  said Greg Blatt, CEO of IAC.  "We think it's ripe for us to accelerate usage by bringing to bear our consumer Internet expertise in areas like product, marketing and distribution. Read the release.

Publisher ‘Shoulds’

On the Scout Research blog, Scout’s Matt Shanahan delivers his thoughts on what media/publishers should provide their ad customers today. He writes, “A digital media company should be able to answer the following questions for advertisers: What are the correlations between specific media topics and conversions? What types of content (e.g., white papers, evaluation guides, etc.) create more conversions than others? How many audience members are in market at any one time?”  Can you do it, Ms. or Mr. Media Warrior?  Read more.

Facebook Mobile Jolt

Mobile ads on Facebook command a 70% cost premium over desktop ads and contribute 20% of Facebook’s overall ad revenue, according to Kenshoo data. (Infographic) The finding is based on two million-plus Facebook ad clicks and conversions, but as Inside Facebook’s Brittany Darwell noted on Twitter, “Kenshoo data doesn't represent all the desktop ads being created thru FB's own ad tool.”

When Venture ‘Bifurcates’

Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) announced results of its 2012 survey of the venture capital industry.   Investment was up 10% to $20.6 Billion in 2012 over 2011. But, Q4 investments sank a whopping 35%. See the release.  Mark Heesen, president of NVCA, says,“The venture capital fundraising environment has settled into a ‘new normal’ which is characterized by a barbell structure of larger funds which are stage and industry agnostic on one end, and smaller, early stage, industry or region specific funds on the other.”  Foundry Group VC Seth Levine says I-told-you-so on his blog.

Adap.tv Gets Yahoo

Former Yahoo! interim CEO and full-time CFO, Tim Morse, has been handed the CFO steering wheel at video ad marketplace Adap.tv.  The Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson comments, “Hiring a CFO of Morse's stature and experience is a pretty clear sign Adap.tv would like go public in the next couple years.”  Read more.

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