Neeva Bets Peeps Will Pay For Search; The CDP Space Keeps Getting Hotter

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Neeva Have I Eeva Paid To Search 

The search engine startup Neeva launched its $5 per-month tier on Wednesday, Fast Company reports. 

It’s small news – Neeva has some hundreds of thousands of users – but it’s an important marker because at least someone’s trying to make paid search a thing. Not paid search advertising but real, live people paying to use a search engine. 

Neeva’s free tier will limit queries per month, but it can’t push too hard on free users because, at least for now, it needs engagement more than it needs subscriptions. If Neeva raises a paywall, people can easily go right back to Google. 

But even if Neeva’s subscription offering takes off, the company will need additional revenue lines. At $5 per month, Neeva would need hundreds of thousands if not millions of paying accounts to make good. (And Neeva has written off ads and affiliate commerce.)

The company has a high-profile team of search engineering vets. CEO and Co-Founder Sridhar Ramaswamy led Google’s search ad business for years – lending credibility to his hypothesis that an ad-free engine can work – and in October, Neeva hired new business chief Steven Shure (previously a subscription sales leader at Time Inc. and VP of a little Amazon side project called Prime).

The mParticle Reactor

The CDP craze isn’t slowing down. 

After raising $150 million in October 2021 at an $800 million valuation, the CDP mParticle announced on Wednesday that it has acquired Indicative, a small customer marketing and analytics company, in a deal worth between $20 million and $30 million, adding the 20-person team as well, Business Insider reports. 

Tons of players have crowded into the CDP category – or at least sell what they call CDP solutions. It’s like five swim lanes with 50 racers. There are world eaters like Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle and now Snowflake, legacy DMPs, tag managers and pure-play CDP competitors like Twilio Segment. 

But the category remains in spend-now growth mode, because so many brands are still transitioning to a CDP. 

CEO Michael Katz says mParticle’s recurring revenue grew 50% last year. The pandemic spurred many companies to evaluate CDPs, because businesses need ways to market and sell directly to customers as ecommerce catches up with brick-and-mortar sales. 

Katz also says mParticle is considering additional “organic and inorganic” growth opportunities.

Context Clues

The looming demise of third-party cookies opened the floodgates for contextual advertising on the open web – and TV measurement companies are in on the trend as well. The latest example comes from Comscore, which launched a partnership with Channel Factory, a brand-suitability service focused on YouTube and social media, The Drum reports. 

Channel Factory will adopt Comscore Predictive Audiences as its go-to source of audience segment packages, while in return Comscore gets visibility into digital video and CTV ratings. 

Comscore needs a fuller understanding of how advertisers should track and score video or CTV ads served in places like YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram or TikTok, and how those compare to the same or similar spots on broadcast TV. How else could a cross-channel metric work? 

And Comscore needs to be able to collect information on videos that play in walled gardens, where user-level data can’t be extracted. 

Comscore is also fending off new rivals like Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify. Just last year, DoubleVerify acquired OpenSlate, a brand safety vendor specializing in YouTube and social video, and IAS acquired the video and CTV ad server Publica. 

But Wait, There’s More!

S4 Capital acquires 4 Mile Analytics and merges it with Media.Monks. [Digiday]

A Facebook antitrust suit can move forward, a judge says, in a win for the FTC. [NYT]

App Annie’s annual mobile report says app downloads rose 5% in 2021, but in-app spending jumped by a fifth. [TechCrunch]

On the ground at CES: less noise, more focus. [Campaign]

NBCUniversal and Germany’s RTL Group (which sold SpotX to Magnite last year) court global brands with an ad sales partnership. [Variety]

IronSource expands its in-app ad exchange with new reporting and measurement tools. [blog]

You’re Hired!

Criteo names Ryan Cook as UK managing director. [release]

Lockard and Wechsler Direct hires Havas vet Cristina Ferruggiari to lead its advanced TV practice. [release]

Gimbal | true[X] names Lauri Baker as SVP of partnership strategy. [release]

 

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