YouTube Adds Next New Networks; Skype Thinking Display; What They Know About TV

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Google Acquires Content

Under the YouTube “label,” Google has acquired Next New Networks according to Claire Cain Miller of The New York Times who writes that its Google’s “biggest effort yet to move beyond short, quirky home videos to professionally produced content.” How about buying Viacom, Big G? Come on, live a little. Read more. The deal is reportedly “less than $100 million” and was first rumored back in December.

Skype In The Display House

Skype announced that its adding display advertising to its revenue stream. The IP-telephony company will effectively sell home page sponsorships within the Skype application that runs on a PC. Groupon, Universal Pictures, and Visa will be some of the first advertisers according to a Skype blog post. Skype’s Doug Bewsher says they’ll offer advertisers the use of “non-personally identifiable demographic data (e.g. location, gender and age).” Read more Meebo will be selling the placements according to Ad Age.

They Know TV

It’s not just a digital pc-based or mobile display ads story any more as The Wall Street Journal’s What They Know (WTK) series moves on to targeted television. The WSJ’s Jesscia Vascallaro states about the TV version of WTK, “The goal: emulate the sophisticated tracking widely used on people’s personal computers with new technology that reaches the living room.” Read more. A range of tv tech companies are mentioned in the exhaustive article including Cablevision, Rentrak, Simulmedia, TRA, Publicis, TiVo and more.

More Google Acquisitions

Google isn’t done buying a little something here, a little something there. According to Next Web’s Matt Brian, Google now owns UK-based which will “utilize BeatThatQuote’s technology to better deliver deals and financial comparisons, perhaps integrating it into its new deals service.” Read more. And, visit the site.

Smartphones Get $$$marter

In a development deal, Microsoft is paying Nokia $1 billion for the privilege of having its Windows 7 smartphone operating system running in Nokia phones. Bloomberg’s Dina Bass adds, “Nokia will pay Microsoft a fee for each copy of Windows used in its phones, costs that will be offset as Nokia curtails its own budget for software research and development…” Read more.

The Mobile Data

Ad Age’s Kunur Patel reports that there is tons of valuable data in mobile but that there are plenty of pitfalls, too, as the mobile ad industry and its various consortiums look to get their hands around the data and leverage it as a revenue stream. Alan Chapell, industry privacy rep and co-chair of the Mobile Marketing Associations’ privacy committee, tells Patel, “Mobile historically has been under the thumb of the carriers, so you have a very different scenario than online.” Read this overview.

Usefulness Is Overrated

“Reducing functionality could not just allow you to charge more for your product, it could make it seem more useful to your users,” writes Greg Yardley, former vice president of product at mobile analytics firm Flurry. That may seem counterintuitive to most people, but it sounds like par for the course in the digital advertising industry. Yardley shares a particularly humorous episode from his days at Flurry — regarding the heralded conversion funnel at that — that highlights “conjunction fallacy.” Read the blog post here.

AOL-HuffPo Adding Editorial

The AOL-Huffington Post marriage has been consummated and freshly-minted content chief Arianna Huffington is adding six journalists – a few with recognizable names (in the journalism industry at least). BoomTown’s Kara Swisher notes that “In a way, AOL is now competing with big news sites such as those on Yahoo, as well as smaller niche content and also mainstream entities.” More coverage here.

Tech Gossip Could Be Trouble

Tech gossip, especially about neato personal devices, is highly addictive – perhaps to the reader’s detriment, says The Washington Post’s Rob Pegoraro. “Because tech rumors can also skew your buying decisions, overindulging in them can be more like day trading in the stock market: a distracting and ultimately unprofitable endeavor.” Fortunately, Pegoraro shares his tricks separating the wheat from the chaff – read the full blog post here.

Tech Giants Are in Control

You may think technology rules your life, but increasingly it’s the companies behind the tech that appear to wield the power. Apple, Facebook and Google – titans of Silicon Valley — are “assembling a pretty comprehensive ability to shape the way we experience the digital realm, affecting what seems popular, what’s permissible, what’s public and, most recently, which websites are ‘good’ and ‘bad,’” says AdAge Media Editor Nat Ives. Read his support for that argument here.

Publicis Melds Kicatt Nohr and Digitas

Publicis Groupe has merged its latest acquisition, London-based interactive agency Kitcatt Nohr, with its digital marketing agency Digitas. Falling under the digital realm of Vivaki, the newly christened Kitcatt Nohr Digitas will feature Kicatt Nohr founders Marc Nohr and Paul Kitcatt as CEO and chief creative officer, respectively. Stephan Beringer, president of Digitas International, “suggested Kitcatt Nohr will benefit from the scale and resources of the Vivaki network, with the network benefiting from the creative capabilities of the acquired agency.” Read the full article at ClickZ.

On Ad Verification

Laredo Group VP Kendall Allen thinks ad verifiers not long for this world as she believes they really don’t add any value to the display ecosystem. “[D]on’t publishers and networks worth their salt have the ability to take care of these matters themselves by implementing aggressive verification standards and techs?” she asks. Read the full commentary at AdAge.

In Praise of OpenRTB

Talking to DataXU CEO and President Mike Baker, Chris Davey, senior vice president and managing director of SapientNitro, explains how the transformation of media buying from manual to automated is very similar to the process the trading world went through. He adds that a set of open standards like the OpenRTB Consortium (the baby of Bill Simmons, DataXu’s founder and CTO) is necessary to improve interaction between buyers and sellers, as well as “allow for healthy competition and increased differentiation.” Read the full interview at ClickZ.

Exchanges Are No Walk in the Park

In part four of a five-part series advising startup publishers seeking ad revenue, Darren Herman runs down the five options in the display space. In explaining ad exchanges and real-time bidding, he notes, “It’s rather simple to participate in this, but it’s not as simple to master it without any knowledge of the space.” Fortunately, help is out there – read the full blog post here.

Brand, You’re a Publisher Now

Look, brand, you gotta stop denying what you really are. Internet and social media have changed you – they’ve turned you into a media company, a publisher, and you gotta change you attitude completely, says Razorfish’s Joe Mele. “What marketing departments need to really start doing is stop thinking like advertisers and start thinking like media companies,” he writes. Read more of Mele’s Musings here.

But Wait. There’s More!

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