Here's today's AdExchanger.com news round-up... Want it by email? Sign-up here.
Amazon Buys Diapers, Retargeter Next?
Amazon has laid down a half-billion dollars to buy up another electronic commerce "good idea," Diapers.com. Soap.com is also a part of this deal as Fortune sleuth and reporter Dan Primack details what Amazon gets, "A rapidly growing company with a devoted base of customers that has figured out how to warehouse and ship commodity items quickly and profitably. Another company with that same premise: Zappos.com, which Amazon snapped up for $1.1 billion in 2009." Read more. According to the Wall Street Journal, Diapers.com's parent, Quidsi, expects to make $300 million this year. Read it. With the potential to aggregate retargeting across Zappos, Diapers.com and Amazon itself, an in-house retargeter of some sort seems inevitable. Will it build or buy?
Tremor Buys ScanScout; Undertone Buys Jambo
David Kaplan of PaidContent says that Tremor Media has acquired video ad network ScanScout (AdExchanger.com Q&A with Co-Founder Waikit Lau from January) as the ad network business continues to consolidate. Video ad network BBE was acquired by Specific Media just three weeks ago. Kaplan writes about the Tremor acquisition of ScanScout, "The deal isn’t just about increasing their reach among audiences, it’s about accessing a greater slice of advertiser’s spending. Once the merger is complete, the deal will increase the amount of ad impressions Tremor and ScanScout can scale." Read more. And, read Michael Learmonth in Ad Age who notes the imminent acquisition of video ad platform Jambo by Undertone. From a press release on the Undertone site: "Undertone today announced it has acquired Jambo Media, one of the largest suppliers of online video advertising distribution and technology with more than 17 million unique viewers* per month. This acquisition creates a singular choice for premium display and video, bringing to market Undertone's vision of bridging the gap between traditional TV and digital advertising. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed." Read it.
Converting The Social User
Japanese, social game company DeNA said that "its average revenue per user is 30 times what Facebook gets from its users and 15 times what Zynga gets," according to VentureBeat. DeNA is the company which recently bought iPhone game publisher Ngmoco for $403 million. So, what's the trick? The audience it appears as VB's Dean Takahashi writes, "The numbers show that Japan’s mobile users are light-years ahead of Western users in embracing the virtual goods free-to-play model." Read more.
ClickZ's Kate Kaye reviews the winners and losers of last week's U.S. congressional elections. The outcomes could result in a drastic change in the direction that regulation takes - likely more focused on self-regulation that governmental. The Internet Advertising Bureau put its dollars to work in the election and Kaye notes, "Of the 17 legislators the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Political Action Committee has given campaign contributions to since 2009, 11 were re-elected." Rich Boucher, who led regulation efforts, also lost his seat. Read more.
Aol + Yahoo! Bubbling
The Yahoo!/Aol combination continues to bubble as The Wall Street Journal reports that "AOL Inc. has hired financial advisers to explore various strategic options for the company, one of which includes a possible tie-up with bigger rival Yahoo Inc. (...) In recent days, AOL's advisers have been presenting different scenarios to AOL officials that illustrate how the two companies could combine their operations and whether the complexity of any such transaction could be surmounted." Read more.
The Google Ecommerce Plan
Google wants to get its bottom-of-the-funnel hooks into the Ecommerce business even more as it announced that it will update the image tech of Google Product search, its shopping search engine. The Wall Street Journal's Amri Efrati writes, "The image-recognition technology used to deliver those features for the Google shopping service comes from Like.com, a comparison-shopping site Google purchased in August that has a 'visual search' feature." Read about it.
Rubicon Busy Integrating MyAds
MyAds advertising platform integration into Rubicon Project continues post-Fox Audience Network acquisition as a new FAQ helps MyAds advertisers understand about the changes as well as potential of the new combination. One question: "What happens to existing FAN publisher inventory?". Answer: "All existing FAN publisher inventory, including MySpace, will remain unchanged. You’ll continue to receive the same high quality inventory that you have come to expect from MyAds and the Fox Audience Network. In the coming weeks, there may be opportunities to expand access to premium publishers available through the Rubicon Project’s REVV Marketplace." Read the FAQ. And, read the developer blog post.
Display Ads Grows In UK
Comscore says that it saw strong, year-over-year growth in display ad impressions served to UK users in Q3 2010. From the press release, "Data from comScore’s Ad Metrix services showed that UK internet users received more than 221 billion display ads during the third quarter, marking a 34-percent increase versus year ago." Read about it.
The New York Times reports that U.S. News and World Report is taking its offline version offline and going digital only. According to The NYT, "The decision is part of a broader refocusing of U.S. News’s business strategy, which has emphasized its profitable and influential ranking guides — for hospitals, colleges and graduate institutions - over the printed news magazine. All its news content will now be on USNews.com and be available free." That's cold turkey -ads only. Read more.
From last week - News Corp reported that half of its online readers for the Times and the Sunday Times had signed up for its online services after they were put behind a paywall in July. According to The Wall Street Journal, "Half of the 105,000 users signed up for the £2 ($3.20) per week subscription or the £9.95 a month version for the iPad or Amazon's Kindle." Read about it.
Personalization For The Masses
From his personal blog, SpectatorBytes, News Corp corp dev EVP Jorge Espinel identifies what he sees as the key elements in effective web content today given the influence of social media. One such element: "Content is organized around taxonomies that are built around people or entities (e.g., teams, brands, players, companies, etc.). Users can then group these entities into ;personalized' playlists. Thus, each user gets to see only the relevant information they have selected to follow. This is in contrast with pre-established categories defined by an editor (sports, gossip, movies, celebrities, etc)." Read more about what he calls "mass personalization."
It's About Timing, Stupid
From his personal blog, entrepreneur Chris Dixon says that it's not always about the right product as much as its about timing when it comes to success. He points to YouTube as case-and-point and adds, "I have to admit that if I [had the opportunity to invest] I probably would have passed -which of course would have been a huge mistake. (...) What I failed to appreciate was that the prior crowdsourced video sites were ahead of their time. YouTube built a great product, but, more importantly, got the market timing just right.." Read more.
Data And Areas
In a Huffington post piece, Burst Media CEO Jarvis Coffin announces that he's newly-sensitive about his areas. A recent story on mapping toilet paper purchases offline to TV set-top box data through cable TV gives Coffin pauses since there didn't seem to be much thought about privacy by set-top box researchers. Read more.