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Ads Vs. E-Commerce
Although the year-old advertising recovery is set to maintain its positive trajectory through this year, most publishers remain gun-shy after the severe downturn. That caused them to look more to e-commerce to supplement lost ad revenues. J.P. Morgan senior analyst Imran Kahn has released a new forecast that suggests e-commerce revenue will grow to $680 billion worldwide. That’s an 18.9 percent gain over 2010 revenue. But to put that in perspective, Khan adds that online advertising’s strength is even more solid. As of 2009, e-commerce was only 3.9 percent of all U.S. retail, however; online advertising represented 13.7 percent of all U.S. advertising. Read more about Khan’s e-commerce report on Techcrunch.
Ad network interclick is denying accusations in a class action lawsuit that says it allowed marketers such as McDonald's, CBS, Mazda and Microsoft of use their online ads to glean personal data from web surfers. Although it’s not named as a defendant in the suit, which was filed in federal court in New York, interclick said that it tries to be sensitive to privacy concerns and that it did nothing illegal. The ad network also appeared to cast some aspersions on the case’s merits, suggesting that the law firm representing the plaintiff has filed a spate of such lawsuits against other companies, alleging similar unlawful privacy practices, including one against Google in November and another against Apple in December. Interclick was included in a previous suit, but says that case was dismissed. Read the release.
Long And Winding Value Chain
As the above item demonstrates, the battle over privacy is hot and getting hotter. As Brand.net COO Andy Atherton says in a company blog post that the long term solutions to the “privacy” issue will give “data owners at each end of the value chain dramatically increased visibility of, control over and stake in how their data is used by players in the middle.” That’s going to create a lot of opportunity for parties that promise to assist the players, such as Krux Digital, which has been marketing tools to protect major publishers against data leakage.
Publishers are practically lining up for the launch of a Google “digital newsstand” across its Android mobile devices. The search giant has told publishers it would accept a smaller cut of Android apps for magazines and newspapers than the 30 percent cut Apple generally takes on iTunes sales. But the timing of Google’s digital newsstand rollout is vague. Even less certain is how committed Google is to opening up the newsstand. Read more about Google’s hazy plans on The WSJ.
The premise behind About.com founder Scott Kurnit’s AdKeeper, which just raised a whopping $35 million second round funding, is simple: billed as the “ultimate opt-in” ad experience, users choose which online ads they want to “virtually clip” and save for later. The company’s product is still in private beta, and the skeptics remain as a discussion on Quora suggests. Angel investor Jerry Neumann writes, “[AdKeeper] is going to require coordination of advertisers and agencies to get the right ads in the program and reward the right metrics. And it will require a ton of shepherding on the part of AdKeeper's management. But, then, that was true of About.com also.” Read more.
The latter half of 2010 saw an broadening of the idea of “bigger, better ad units” in the form of the page takeover formats that have been promoted by the Online Publishers Association. Clickz’s Tessa Wegert provides an appraisal of the new ad units, from Facebook Ads for Pages and Events, which allows users to "Become a fan" or RSVP to an event directly within the unit, to MySpace’s tests of a new placement that resembles Facebook’s Column Ads. With AOL fully rolling out its Project Devil units (see our interview with AOL’s Jeff Levick for more on that and other topics), there’s going to be a lot more options for advertisers to choose from. But is it possible that with all these various ad units, advertisers could just wind up confused by the lack of a standard?
Everyone knows what a display retargeting (aka “remarketing”) campaign looks like – even us. In a twist on that by now familiar format, Clickz’s Julie Batten offers a look at something a little different: search retargeting. Basically, search retargeting is a version of remarketing, which enables advertisers to revisit users who have previously searched for their brand name or target keywords. It’s actually a bit more limited than the display version of the practice, and it does come with the same sort of privacy issues plaguing the space in general. But it does have its uses, especially as a way to complement a regular search campaign.
But Wait, There’s More!
- Goldman Offering Clients a Chance to Invest in Facebook – The New York Times
- The Private IPO – Albert Wenger
- Apple Still U.S. Smartphone Market Share Leader...Barely – ReadWriteWeb