Twitter Struggling To Prove Ad Value; Salesforce Merger Speculation

doesitworkHere’s today’s news round-up… Want it by email? Sign-up here.

Twitter’s Proof Problem

Twitter’s having a hard time proving its direct-response ads can drive sales, according to the WSJ. Though Twitter’s got scale (302 million monthly active users, to be exact), marketers and brands aren’t convinced their ad spend is impacting purchases, and that’s driving some away from the platform. “Most platforms in their early stages struggle with being able to connect the dots between digital actions and actual business,” said 360i CEO Sarah Hofstetter. Twitter defended its ad biz as it reported its weakest revenue growth since going public. “We will always make choices which optimize for advertiser value,” said Richard Alfonsi, Twitter’s VP of global online sales. “That’s why we moved to a model that only charges advertisers for the exact outcome they are looking for.”

Taking Odds On Salesforce Suitor

Following news that Salesforce has received merger interest, CNBC takes a look at potential suitors. In terms of who could afford the $50 billion company, “there aren’t many in the US that are big enough,” writes reporter Ari Levy. Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and IBM have the market cap, but aren’t viewed as credible suitors. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff spent years at Oracle, and while some analysts see that as a reason why the two companies wouldn’t make a deal, others believe Larry Ellison may want Benioff as a potential heir. Microsoft is also considered a likely candidate, as it looks to dominate cloud computing. Microsoft chief Satya Nadella expanded Microsoft’s existing relationship with Salesforce in December.

iHeart Programmatic

In reporting iHeartMedia’s Q1 2015 earnings, management touted a recently launched programmatic solution for digital audio ads. The offering lets advertisers target based on psychographic profiles (linked to music preferences), weather, traffic patterns and purchase behavior. “As we add pricing algorithms, we will not focus on the cheapest price, instead, as Google pioneered, we’ll focus on delivering the best value,” said Richard Bressler, iHeartMedia’s COO and CFO. “This is good for the advertisers and good for us.” Revenue during the quarter grew 4% to hit $1.4 billion, though the firm said revenue growth was offset by lower core local broadcast radio ad revenue.

NYT’s Q1: Still Digital Dimes?

The New York Times is poised to hit 1 million digital subscribers this summer, CEO Mark Thompson told investors. But Re/code’s Edmund Lee says subscription growth is overshadowed by the company’s core challenge. “Despite those gains, the Times’ digital revenues – both circulation and advertising – account for little more than a fifth of the paper’s total sales and won’t in any way come close to making up for its once fat print profits,” he writes. A million online subscribers bring in between $190 million to $200 million for the time. Adding in digital ad revenues, the figure is closer to $400 million. That’s a nice number, but still a shadow of the Times’ $1 billion print business. Read AdExchanger’s coverage of the Q1 report.

You’re Hired!

But Wait, There’s More!

Enjoying this content?

Sign up to be an AdExchanger Member today and get unlimited access to articles like this, plus proprietary data and research, conference discounts, on-demand access to event content, and more!

Join Today!