Microsoft Writes Down aQuantive; Jumptap Gets Millions; Media Kitchen Picks MediaMind

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Uncapture The Flag

Microsoft has had enough, fiscally, of its aQuantive acquisition. As you may recall, it was the largest of a series of digital media acquisitions that year which included Google buying DoubleClick, Yahoo buying Right Media, WPP buying 24/7 and even Microsoft buying comparatively tiny AdECN. From the release yesterday, “Microsoft completed its acquisition of aQuantive on Aug. 13, 2007, in an all-cash transaction valued at just over $6.3 billion. While the aQuantive acquisition continues to provide tools for Microsoft’s online advertising efforts, the acquisition did not accelerate growth to the degree anticipated, contributing to the write down.” Read more. It hasn’t all been a loss though. In its 2009 deal with Publicis, Microsoft sold Razorfish, which had been part of aQuantive, for a reported $530 million.

Mobile $$$

Mobile ad network Jumtap has dipped into the stream of venture capitalness and added another $27.5 million in new funding. That’s $121.5 million raised since 2005 according to Crunchbase. The release gives some sense of scale, “Each month Jumptap reaches 107 million mobile users in the U.S. and 156 million mobile users worldwide, and delivers 20 billion mobile impressions. The Company has also experienced a surge in the development of its technology patent portfolio, with 29 patents issued and 200 pending. To support its escalation, Jumptap has grown its employee base by 50 percent in 2011.” Read more.

Answering Ask’s Ad Question’s acquisition of content discovery provider nRelate could help the IAC-owned Q&A site get back into the ad game on its own terms. Since 2007, Ask has outsourced search ad sales to Google, while it has concentrated on differentiating itself as human-driven seek-and-respond site, as opposed to relying on algorithms. While the company will not be building up a sales team, Ask CEO Doug Leeds told AdExchanger, “We see what nRelate does is extend the native ad formats associated with search. In this case, nRelate has relationships with tens of thousands of publishers. So as we attempt to connect users with content, we’ll also be better able to send them contextually relevant advertising.” More details on Ask’s blog.

No, Google

MDC Partners’ media agency The Media Kitchen announced a partnership with MediaMind that will leverage a range of MediaMind ad technologies. Darren Herman, Chief Digital Media Officer at The Media Kitchen and venture maven at kbs+p ventures, said, “We selected MediaMind because of their independent status and their ability to plug into our advertising technology stack and work with other partners as needed.”… “independent” – Positioning away from the Google ad juggernaut could provide some leverage with like-minded potential clients. Read more.

Owning Brands

OwnerIQ has nabbed $7.5 million to execute on its promise of “ownership targeted media.” (press release) Early on the company offered a destination site for digitized product manuals, with accessories and “after market” brands in mind as target customers. Since then it has pivoted slightly to focus on targeting in-market consumers as well. AdAge picks up the story: “OwnerIQ will serve up co-branded ads to people that have visited, say, an audio speaker-maker’s website that attempt to drive that shopper to an e-commerce site where they can buy the speaker.” Read more.

FBX Origin Story?

Writing on his blog, Jay Weintraub speculates on how Facebook execs might have arrived at the idea of a private exchange model built to capture retargeting dollars. He imagines one saying, “Other ad networks couldn’t do this because they might have a large aggregate reach but not the frequency. Our users go on and off the site all the time… We enable others to retarget their users on our inventory. We become our own exchange. Targeting problem solved. Monetization improves dramatically.” Read the post.

The Agency System

Facilitate Digital EVP Julian Baring has some tips for agencies who are struggling to adapt new technology into their organizations. He writes on ClickZ, “For digital agencies in the current technology-heavy environment, a commitment to systems training across the user base, and leadership teams is critical to ensuring technology fulfills its role as an accelerator and enabler of business success.” Read more.


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