Subscription Models Meet Audiences; Widgets Are Back; Weaver On Why The Digital Seller Is Leaving

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

How Do I Subscribe?

The online subscription model has moved beyond movies and Netflix as companies BirchBox, PetFlow and Dollar Shave Club (no, really) are aggregating consumers around particular interests. Former AzoogleAds guy and current PetFlow CEO Alex Zhardanovsky tells The NY Times, “This is the best business model you can ever have because we can place inventory purchases against future sales. I will be shipping out 24,000 products next month whether I land a new customer or not. I already know how many bags of Blue Buffalo brand chicken-flavored dog food I have sold in the next 60 days.” Recurring revenue. Yummmm. Think vertical publishers can leverage their brand to create their own, relevant subscription models? Why not?

Widgets Are Back

On PandoDaily, Erin Griffith reports that “anti-display network” BlogFrog has managed to raise over $3 million in new funding. Griffith gamely tries to describe the sponsored conversation product which depends on embedded widgets: “With sponsored conversations, top bloggers compose a piece of content through the BlogFrog system, which is then pushed to their blog with the brand messaging integrated (and, disclosed, of course). BlogFrog tracking data and commenting system captures all the shares/likes/comments/what-have-yous, so that the brand can redistribute them anywhere, like, say, on their Facebook page.” Sounds like a healthy, targeting data business from here. Read more. And, visit the site.

Close On Exiting

Upstream Group’s Doug Weaver shares results of his recent survey of digital salespeople and why they leave their jobs. Weaver writes, “When asked to choose ‘the best description’ of why they chose to leave their former company, only one in five – 21.6% — chose ‘Got a much better offer.’ A much bigger percentage –36.2% of respondents – said they left because of an obsolete business model, unattainable goals or both…” And then there was the biggest reason of all… Read about it.

Cross-Platform Buying

Mobile demand-side platform Tapad says it’s starting to offer cross-platform buying services – meaning personal computers, cellphones and tablets in this case. Ad Age’s Jason Del Rey explains, “Because cookie-targeting doesn’t work across screens, Tapad looks at other available signals, such as data from publisher partners, advertisers or Wi-Fi connections. [Tapad] CEO Are Traasdahl won’t provide more information than that on the methodology. We’ll give him a pass, given the rush of companies looking to create similar offerings.” Read more.

Real-Time Socially

Real-time social ad buying platform Taykey is Read it. Taykey CEO Amit Avner delivers the medicine to TechCrunch readers: “Simply put, we use trends to make your sh*t perform. Whatever it is. Social, search, Display. Trends means new highly-relevant keywords that no one has, so you have less competition so it’s more efficient. And we fish where the fish are, so people are more attentive.” And, Taykey has added Invite Media founder Zach Weinberg to its board of advisers. Read more.

Let Display Be Your Guide

Finally, it’s here! On Search Engine Watch, UK-based agency Periscopix’ Alistair Dent writes a piece titled, “The Definitive Guide to AdWords Display Targeting.” Read it.

The Third To Last Impression Matters

MediaMind announced that it will be integrating Encore Media Metrics’ (AdExchanger Q&A) solution into its ad platform in order to bring attribution capabilities to its clients. The press release claims, “Attribution solves the ‘last-click’ problem by allocating partial credit to each impression, click and interaction that influence conversions.” Read it. Progressively, more and more data is being brought to bear in order to unlock better ROI for the advertiser – and that’s good for publishers with valuable audience. For other publishers, good luck. Encore’s Steve Latham offers his view on what attribution is on MediaMind’s blog here.

HTML5 Transition

Folio says that inMobi’s Sprout has been called upon to provide HTML5 ads for Heart Digital’s mobile sites which also are steadily implementing HTML5. Hearst Digital Media vp of product strategy Mark Weinberg tells Folio that Good Housekeeping was the first brand to undergo the transition to HTML5 and “has had record monthly uniques.” Read more.

Windows Ad SDK

“iPad 3 or 4… whatev!” Yesterday, Microsoft was busy touting the beta for its Microsoft Advertising Software Development Kit (SDK) for Windows 8. Microsoft’s Jenn Creegan writes, “Within Windows 8 apps, advertisers will be able to utilize the interface as a rich canvas to tell engaging stories that put the consumer in the center of the ads in a brand safe environment.” Read about it. And, then get the SDK.

Supply Beating Demand

In another case of supply winning out over demand, Pandora reported its earnings for Q4 2011 and said things are looking good as users continue to pile into the free music listening service.  Trouble is, the Pandora ad sales staff – and the traditional radio advertiser – isn’t quite ready.  The WSJ’s Rolfe Winkler notes the discrepancy in CPMs between online and mobile may be hurting the company, “Had prices for mobile ads matched those for desktop ones last quarter, the company would have had revenue around $150 million instead of $72 million. And much of the difference would have fallen to the bottom line.”  That’s a big “had.”  Read more (subscription).

Selling Remnant Is Honorable

Mediaweek UK says Google has agreed to sell publisher (and broadband and phone company) TalkTalk’s remnant display inventory via Google’s digital ad products including DoubleClick Ad Exchange, DoubleClick for Publishers ad serving solution, AdMeld and Double Click Rich Media’s ad formats. Quoting comScore figures, TalkTalk had 4.5 million uniques in January. Read it.

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