Patch Is Profitable; Programmatic VOD

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Patch Up

AOL’s Patch has been reseeded by Charles Hale and Hale Global since they took over the reins earlier this year. The NY Times reports the hyperlocal site is profitable and expected to make top-line revenue of $21 million this year. The NYT adds, “The biggest change has come on the advertising side. The hyperlocal concept cannot really live off thousands of ads from pizza parlors and flower shops, as was initially anticipated; such sites need to be a place where national companies can advertise locally. Toward this end, Patch raised the minimum commitment for an ad campaign to $5,000, to weed out mom-and-pop businesses, and won business from Sony Pictures and Wells Fargo Bank.” Read more. Although 21 mil is a start, it’s not a windfall, considering previous investment.

Programmatic TV: No Time Soon

GroupM’s Rino Scanzoni offers his views on the upfronts and more in the WSJ. He comments about automated buying for TV, too, saying, “In terms of what’s going on in the digital front where there is trading done by machines and algorithms, I think that will evolve to the TV space, but it will only apply probably to secondary inventory like VOD, dynamically inserted ads in VOD post three days, and local cable avails. Places where there is an abundance of inventory and there isn’t a strong demand curve to support that inventory.” Read more (subscription).

Criteo Mobile

JP Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth shared a positive take on Criteo’s mobile prospects after the company presented at a JP Morgan conference. Anmuth told investors, “Mobile represented 15% of revenue ex-TAC in March and represented 25% of revenue in Japan. Criteo noted that it witnessed ~$1B in annualized post-click mobile sales in 1Q, and the majority of its ads were displayed on the mobile Web as clients continue to ramp their mobile app offerings. We (i.e., JP Morgan’s equity analyst team) believe Criteo is likely still in the early days of up-selling its mobile solution to clients, many of whom have 20-30% of their sales coming from mobile, suggesting significant room for potential growth of Criteo's mobile products.”

YouTube To (Maybe) Acquire Twitch

Rumors swirled Sunday about YouTube's possible acquisition of video game streaming company Twitch. The deal would close for $1 billion, Variety reports, and would mark YouTube's biggest deal to date. But two of WSJ’s sources say negotiations are still in preliminary stages and the acquisition is not imminent. The deal could help YouTube drive advertising through increased engagement, something Twitch does very well, said Mark Fisher, Qwilt's vice president of business development. With more than 45 million monthly unique visitors, Twitch's traffic still lags behind both Netflix and YouTube. Read more at WSJ. So, real deal – or PR attempt by Twitch and/or its investors amid final throes of acquisition by somebody else?

TV Everywhere’s Nowhere

TV Everywhere services such as HBO GO and Showtime Anytime are struggling to compete with the engagement rates of Internet streaming services, Gigaom reports. In fact, only 17% of pay TV subscribers are aware of TV Everywhere apps and services, and those who are often run up against authentication problems. Says Turner SVP Jeremy Legg, “If we can’t find a way as an industry to make this simpler for consumers, then shame on us. I’m embarrassed how we rolled this out.” Read more.

Could AOL Complete Yahoo?

The idea of a Yahoo-AOL merger remains palatable to investors, not least because it would bring Yahoo firmly into the programmatic arena. A Friday story in TheStreet picks up the recent enthusiasm of CRT Capital Group analyst Neil Doshi. “The one big hole in Yahoo!'s advertising platform is on the programmatic side, and that's exactly what AOL has been building," Doshi said. Read it. AdExchanger mulled the possibility in a story last fall. Read that.

Infographic Tuesday

The graphic designers at Google’s DoubleClick have been busy putting pixels to screen and visualizing how brands can “win” at programmatic. See it now (PDF)!

Keyword: Programmatic

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