Media Adding Online Commerce; ClickZ Finds Third-Party Data Costs Remain High; Clearspring Says Its Reach Is 200 Million In U.S.

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Media Adding Online Commerce

The Travel Channel announced that it has invested $7.5 million in – described by The New York Times as a “start-up that employs professionals to review hotels and takes a cut of all the room reservations it helps to make.” Interesting to see another media company looking to add an online commerce component. In the NY Times’ article, Oyster CEO Elie Seidman said he sees the deal as an indication of the long-awaited “convergence” occurring between television and the Web. Read more.

Third-Party Data Costs

ClickZ’s Jack Marshall reviews the third-party data landscape with agency buyers – including VivaKi Nerve Center and WPP’s The MIG – and finds that the costs may not be worth the investment sometimes.  He writes, “The cost of third-party data on which to target those buys remains prohibitively high for many advertisers, agencies suggest. Most advertisers currently buying ads on a real-time basis are therefore doing so based on their own first-party data, rather than audience information acquired from vendors.” VivaKi’s Unkel says only about half of advertisers on his company’s Audience On Demand (AOD) platform are using third-party data. Read more.

Agencies Get More Digital

Ad Age’s new 2011 Agency Report says that agencies are moving to digital. The question for some remains: is it fast enough? According to 2010 data, Ad Age says that “digital services” now account for “an estimated $8.5 billion (28%) of the $30.4 billion in 2010 U.S. revenue generated by the 900-plus advertising and marketing-services agencies” that were included in the study. Read the article. That’s a 17% increase in digital revenues over 2009 according to Ad Age.

Response Rates

Email audience is some of the most valuable among all digital channels and eMarketer repurposes some Chitika data which sheds light on which is email audience is most valuable. eMarketer writes, “referrals from web email providers to landing pages in their network, a solid majority (62%) come from Yahoo! Mail while Gmail provides just 4% of referrals.” Yet, the Gmail readers are more likely to interact with the landing page offers according to Chitika. See the details.

Gamer Audience Exits Soaps

Casual gamers… who are they, really? AdWeek’s Mike Shields says they’re former daytime TV soap opera watchers. Shields quotes Maria Bailey author of Mom 3.0, “Now their virtual friends have come alive, and they don’t need one-way conversations. I grew up on Susan Lucci, but Susan Lucci doesn’t talk back to me.” Target now on Zynga!

Optimizing CTR Hurts Brands

According to MediaPost’s Gavin O’Malley, Collective has announced results from a new study that shows once again old-devil-clickthrough rate is a misleading indicator of success. Collective’s vp of analytics, Jeremy Stanley, told O’Malley, “We believe that the CTR is not only a meaningless performance measure, but it can actually destroy value for brands if they optimize their campaigns to perform on CTR.” Read more.

Targeting Tech, Alliterating About Ads’s director of non-reserved product management , Eliza Nevers, reviews ad optimization best practices in an opinion piece on ClickZ. She believes it’s important to partner with a “true technology company” and defines it as offering “a complete ad platform, unlike many players in the space that piece together a solution through outsourcing.” Read more. There appears to be an emerging trend around alliteration these days.. how True is your Tech, how Pure is your Platform…. I bet you’re thinking of another good one right now.

On ValueClick Earnings

Beyond yesterday’s Greystripe acquisition news, Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney looks at ValueClick’s earnings pre-release announcement in a note to investors: “VCLK announced that March Quarter Revenue came in at $116.5MM, about 3% above our $113MM estimate and above the high-end of its guidance range. Likewise, VCLK announced that March Quarter EBITDA came in at $35.1MM, about 10% above our $31.9MM estimate and above its guidance range. This translates into very strong 28% Y/Y growth in EBITDA. Upside came from VCLK’s Affiliate Marketing, Media, and Owned & Operating Websites segments.”

DSPs Buying Data

Leveraging data from its AddThis platform, Clearspring announced that its Audience Platform is now integrated in a group of “demand-side platforms including WPP’s Media Innovation Group (MIG), Invite Media, MediaMath, DataXu, and Turn. Yahoo’s market leading Right Media Exchange (RMX) is also now the first data exchange to utilize Clearspring’s audiences.” The company claims buyers can reach 200 million, monthly, U.S. uniques through its platform. Read the release.

More Cookie Tools

Krux Digital announced its own entry into the cookie detection and review, toolkit space (a la AdMeld’s FireMeld and Evidon’s Ghostery). Called Krux Inspector, the company says that among the visualization capabilities of the FIrefox add-on, users can “Explore page-level activity more efficiently, with ‘friendly name’ company identification and intuitive icons indicating the type of data collection and cookie activity that’s occurring.” And it’s free. Read more on AdMonsters.

More Real-Time Bidding Love

On the Bigmouthmedia blog, Dave McKenna reviews New Media Age’s recent NMA Live conference in London on real-time bidding. McKenna provides the complete rundown and appears to have absorbed the RTB kool-aid, “So there’s no denying it, RTB looks like it could be the way forward for the Display sector. It’s growing, and it’s difficult to argue with the benefits.” Read more.

Tracking With The Iphone

Apple fan and tech site MacRumors claims to have an email exchange with Apple CEO Steve Jobs who says in regards to recent reports that the iPhone is tracking users every movement and Android does not. Jobs purportedly said, “Oh yes [Google does]. We don’t track anyone. The info circulating around is false.” Read more. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal says its tests show that the iPhone tracks geo-location even when its disabled by the user. Read more.

But Wait. There’s More!


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