Demand Media And Nielsen Debut Successful IPOs; BlueKai Acquires TrackSimple; LinkedIn Updates Ads

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The IPO Is Back!

Content aggregator Demand Media “upsized” and priced its IPO earlier, raising the price from the previously announced 7.5 shares of common stock to 8.9 shares of common stock at $17.00 per share. Despite some doubts about the company’s ability to reach profitability, investors were cheered: by the end of the day, CNN Money’s Julianne Pepitone reported Demand Media stock closed 33 percent higher at $22.65, after reaching $25.00 Wednesday afternoon. Read the release. Meanwhile, Nielsen also went public yesterday and closed at $25.53, 11 percent above their $23 IPO price. The company raised $1.6 billion. Let the acquisitions begin?Read more from the AP.

BlueKai Acquires TrackSimple

BlueKai, the online data marketplace, has bought TrackSimple, an analytics company that provides reporting, analysis and prediction services to media companies, Techcrunch’s Leena Rao reported. In an interview with paidContent’s David Kaplan, BlueKai CEO Omar Tawakol said that acquisition was timed for the release of the Bellevue, Washington company’s new marketing suite, which includes tag management. Meanwhile, Mediapost has posted the BlueKai Pulse  report for December. Given the holiday season, there was a lot of intent to buy luxury cars, though Plasma screen TVs weren’t wanted as much, according to the data of 200 million unique consumers.


Coming on the heels of Facebook’s new “sponsored stories” ad feature, which turns updates mentioning marketers into ads on members’ pages, LinkedIn is prepping updates for its marketing tools that let advertisers target its 90 million members based on job titles, seniority, age and location, the WSJ’s Ian Sherr reports, citing unnamed sources. Meanwhile, Jack Chou, senior product manager at LinkedIn, tells ClickZ’s Doug Quenqua, this will open up a whole new level of granular targeting for advertisers.The professional social network has a ways to go in terms of catching up to Facebook: Last month, more than a quarter of all U.S. display ads were placed on Facebook, according to comScore figures. In contrast, LinkedIn had less than 1 percent share of the display. Read more.

Branding Clicks

It’s no secret that clickthroughs are shrinking. But a presentation by comScore CMO Linda Abraham at the DLD (Digital-Life-Design) conference in Munich demonstrated that branding can have a positive effect on the results. While the focus is mainly on Germany, Abraham highlights the global potential and problems of the click-through. The video of Abraham’s presentation is here. Read the white paper here (sub. req.) (PDF)

ignitAd’s Self-Serve

Ad optimizer ignitAd has launched a self-serve bidding tool for publishers that promises “predictive analysis” that is designed to give users a better idea of the choices they have. The Israel’s company’s Bid Optimization Management technology also has the usual transparency options that vows to make certain that every ad can be traced to the very page of web content on which it ran. The company has fully launched with $2 million in new funds, which should help market its technology globally, reports Alarm:Clock. Read the release.

Firefox’s Elegant Opt-Out

All three major browsers – Microsoft’s Internet Explore, Mozilla’s Firefox, Google Chrome – have been readying new browsers that incorporate the FTC’s recommendation Do Not Track button embed. While many online ad observers have been concerned that this could stymie innovation and negatively impact revenues for agencies and publishers, Todd Curry (formerly of OMG’s trading desk) says that the trio’s efforts have to be evaluated individually. “[Firefox] holds the potential to end the whack-a-mole game of cookie setting & blocking,” Curry says. Firefox, with its 20 percent share of the browser market, could also influence the way the other browsers use Do Not Track. Read more.

CMOs In The Middle

Once media became accurately measurable, it began to be looked upon as a commodity by marketers. So when media buying accounts were being considered at the dawn of the “ROI Era” in the last decade, the procurement officers were put in charge. Ever since, there’s been a new source of tension between the agencies and their clients. In an Ad Age op-ed, Avi Dan, founder-president of Avidan Strategies, say that CMOs can do a better job of smoothing things over. But only if agencies can find ways of spurring innovation and providing a better set of measurements. Read more.

Death Of Ad Nets?

The death of ad networks has been predicted since ad exchanges and demand-side platforms emerged two years ago. While many ad nets have evolved expanded their offerings, and thus, the model has still been able to defy extinction. But  TargetSpot CEO Eyal S. Goldwerg, in answer to a question posed on Quora, that the better ad networks provide more than the basic value of aggregating ad inventories. The ability to drive access to relevant audiences is not going out of style by any means. Nor have the complexities involved in doing that been erased by exchanges and DSPs. So, for the ad nets that can smooth the difficulties advertisers and publishers have in finding the right inventory, they’re epitaph won’t be written for a while. Read more.

Retargeting 101

Retargeting – or, if you’re Google “remarketing” – has been very much on the minds of marketers lately. Marc Poirier, writing on SearchEngineWatch, has a pretty good primer for anyone who needs a reminder of what all the fuss is about. As for why you might want to serve a user who saw your ad the first time and wasn’t converted, an agency who retargets could be in a good position to bid higher than other advertisers who didn’t know they have a second shot at a returning visitor, and therefore win the impression, hopefully getting the click and the conversion. Read more.

Spring Board

Fresh from being asked to serve on ad network Interclick’s board a few weeks ago, MediaBank’s Bill Wise has joined the board of content sharing platform Clearspring Technologies. There is an obvious connection between Wise and Clearspring, as Ted Leonsis, who is latter company’s chairman, also happens to be a director for MediaBank. Read the release.

But Wait, There’s More!

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