Hulu Ad Machinations; Listings Or Bust For Yext

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Hulu Ads, Direction

Big changes are coming to Hulu, and they’re all starting at the top, beginning with the position of CEO Jason Kilar and the relationship to the streaming video site’s big media backers, reports Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein. Citing a three-page memo about Hulu’s business model that was dated in July, the document discusses whether or not Kilar will stay on after a big payday. Also, News Corp., which owns Fox Broadcasting, wants wants to see four ads per commercial pod on (instead of just one), and that’s just for starters.

Yahoo Exec Shakeout

Ad Age’s Jason Del Rey reports that Yahoo! CRO (and former Admeld CEO) Michael Barrett is staying put even though other Yahoo! executives continue to depart in the wake of the hiring of new Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer. Del Rey writes, “Earlier today, Yahoo said in a statement that Mr. Barrett would be leading the North American sales staff on an interim basis following news that Wayne Powers, Yahoo’s senior-VP of North American ad sales, was leaving to become president and group publisher at Parade Publications.” Read more. Yahoo!’s Barrett will be presenting at AdExchanger’s Human Centered Automation Conference on September 20.

Video Ads’ Emotional Missing Link

MediaMind’s Boaz Ram writes in iMedia Connection that there’s a world of difference between the kind of pricing that’s commanded by TV and by most online video. It starts with the fact TV targets themes and online targets behaviors, “The Office viewers are there to laugh or cringe themselves to tears. NBA playoffs watchers are there to be exhilarated. Mad Men fans are immersed in a world that wears high heels and sips bourbon before 10 a.m… The demographic for all these shows may be right-on for a running shoe maker, but the emotional vibe? Might as well be three different planets.” Read more.

Facebook’s Ad Pitch (Circa ‘04)

Facebook advertising has a long history that shows the company thinking carefully about its approach to brands and media buyers way before its IPO and the introduction of the Facebook Exchange marketplace. Digiday’s Jack Marshall has found something of a Facebook artifact, a pitch deck from 2004, when the social network had a “the” attached to its name. See it now.

Cashing Pay Per Call

It’s local listings plumbing or bust for Yext as the company announced the sale of its pay-per-call business to IAC for a rumored $30 million.  Read more in Digital Media Wire.  In an interview with Bloomberg’s Dierdre Bolton, CEO Howard Lerman confirmed the “ballpark” sales price and said that Felix (the pay-per-call biz) had represented 90% of Yext revenue last year.  Now, it’s all listings.  See it.  And, read this May 2011 AdExchanger interview with Lerman when he discussed the listings business origins.

Challenging DNT

In a sharp rebuke of Microsoft’s application of Do-Not-Track in its new Internet Explorer browser, Bizo CEO Russ Glass lays out his case on the Bizo blog. Glass sees harm for the consumer: “DNT is a blunt instrument that doesn’t allow you or me to have choice over which of our preferred vendors are able to serve us offers we might actually find valuable.  For example, if you were a frequent visitor to Amazon and they had a 50% deal on a product you loved, if DNT was turned on, you wouldn’t receive that offer as you surfed the web.  That’s a bummer for everyone who wants privacy but also values a good experience online.”  Read more.

Education Frontier

As web users get more and more used to free content — and traditional media continues to see profits and paying audiences shrink — there appears to be one digital area that people may be willing to pay for: education. Or, more specifically, something called “Techbooks,” which the NYT’s Brooks Barnes and Amy Chozick describe as digital manuals that include video, virtual labs, downloadable content. As novel as that sounds, even more interesting is the company’s newest backer: cable network giant Discovery Communications. “Educational content is core to our DNA, and we’re unencumbered — unlike traditional textbook publishers, we’re not defending a dying business,” said Discovery CEO David Zaslav. Read more.

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