Yahoo’s New Plans; Keeping Ad Blocking In Perspective

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Yahoo Goes To The Light

Will Yahoo’s reversal of its planned Alibaba spinoff, announced Wednesday, have the desired effect on its core media and advertising business? That is to say, will it raise the valuation of that business above effectively zero? Marissa Mayer told investors, “With a large portion of market cap driven by the Alibaba stake, separation will … ensure Yahoo’s business operations are appropriately valued.” It’s a separate question whether the spinoff will spark a bidding war among potential acquirers, including telcos, private equity firms and big media companies. Such an outcome may be for the best after so many years of fretting about this underperformer.

Sweating Out The Ad Block Fever

A net 9% of the US digital consumer base “will opt out of advertising in the next three months,” claims Digital Content Next (DCN) in an ad-block report released today. Ad blocking is very real, but the alarm bells can be excessive. The Apple App Store’s most popular ad blocker, Crystal, went from the No. 1 paid download in October to outside the top 400 now, according to App Annie data. The Nieman Lab article on DCN’s report also cites a PageFair/Adobe ad-block study that was compellingly debunked by BuzzFeed’s Alex Kantrowitz.

Get Real

With massive investments from the likes of Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Samsung, there’s a consensus that virtual reality is coming and will be big when it arrives. But with lots of work still to do before it takes off in video games and entertainment, marketers have mostly kept VR in the freezer. Until now, apparently. Digiday’s Garett Sloane reports Facebook is actively shopping its Oculus Rift tech as a marketing opportunity. Some brands have already tapped Facebook’s 360-degree video, a key stepping stone for its VR ambitions. More.

Instant Feedback

Facebook’s Instant Articles (IA) product has been hailed as both a blessing and a curse for publishers, but they seem to be ironing out their disputes. Jack Marshall has news on a few product tweaks meant to empower publishers. For one, Facebook used to demand pubs sell IA inventory at the same rates as their own site – to avoid advertisers buying at mixed rates – but dropped that restriction so publisher partners could upsell IA inventory. “We’re continuing to listen to publishers about what they want from Instant Articles, and we’re going to continue to do this,” said Michael Reckhow, the product manager for Instant Articles. More at The Wall Street Journal.

But Wait, There’s More!

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