Got Your Back; Data And The Human

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Got Your Back

Eric Picard’s startup, Rare Crowds, had run out of money and was facing imminent shutdown, so he reached out to the ‘Internet Oldtimers Group’ for money and they came through for him. Ad Age got the inside story of how Internet company veterans pledged to keep Picard’s firm funded and why it’s back on track as a success story. “The company was not going to be able to survive without more capital,” Picard told Ad Age. “Those guys stepped up and just really saved us. I mean, we were dead.” Read more.

Data And The Human

Amazon is busy perfecting its video content production capabilities, known as Amazon Studios, according to The Wall Street Journal. But Amazon’s Roy Price tells the WSJ that data from reviews, for example, is only one factor in what Amazon makes or doesn’t and says, “It is not the case that you walk in on Tuesday morning and the computer tells you, ‘Doot doot doot, you should order these two shows.” Human stuff is still required. Read it.

Data Vs. Operational Tech

In a post on his personal blog, kbs+ Ventures’ Darren Herman fields questions from the Twitterverse. A query about the race between data tech and operational efficiency tech intrigues Herman: “Up to today, I believe that data tech has captured much of the mindshare. Folks like BlueKai, Exelate, VisualIQ, Adometry, Lotame, Cross Pixel and others have nailed the data side of all of this. I don’t know how they play out, but at least have captured the initial intent of the industry. For operational efficiency tech…” Read it.

Social Ad Limits

As Twitter gears up for its IPO, advertising revenue is going to garner the most investor interest, but there could be a limit to how much users are willing to tolerate, as Techcircle points out. Facebook’s chief financial officer, David Ebersman, said the company is unlikely to go much higher than the current 5% ad ratio in users’ news feeds. Twitter’s acquisition of MoPub should help the company advertise outside the platform. Read more.

Opening Up To Programmatic

Gawker is the latest publisher to change its mind about private exchanges as pressure to automate the ad sales process mounts. “We expect our advertising to bifurcate between the branded content produced by Studio@Gawker that we sell directly and efficient, targeted display media sold via a private exchange,” said Erin Pettigrew, Gawker’s business development lead. Read more.

The Merger Process Rolls On

The period during which US regulators could oppose the Publicis Omnicom Merger has ended without incident, according to Adweek. This means the two companies are closer to merging, which is expected to happen next year. Combined, the companies will control 40% of media buying in the US, and 20% globally. Read more.

Reach Extension

In a study created with Digiday, ad network 2.0 Rocket Fuel looked at publishers’ reach extension capabilities. One finding: “One in four (26%) of publishers surveyed ask higher CPMs for audience extension campaigns, as compared with their on-site inventory — a more common practice for large publishers.” Read the release. And download the study (Pay with some PII). In part, Rocket Fuel wants those direct, big publisher relationships to get in front of exchange buyers.

New Look For Groupon

Groupon has rolled a new site design that focuses heavily on search, its latest effort to keep users interested in deals, AllThingsD reported. Once a lucrative niche, deals seem to be falling out of favor with users, and Groupon has a lot to lose. According to CEO Eric Lefkofsky, the company is trying to emulate a Costco style of inventory vs. an Amazon one. Read more.


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