DG Loves Rich Media; Ad Shifting

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DG Loves Rich Media

TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha reports that DG has made what appears to be an acqui-hire of sorts with its purchase of 11-person rich media vendor Republic Project for a reported $1.4 million plus earn-outs. Read more. Republic pitches a cross-device integration capability with its cloud-based offering. Prior to selling its TV ad distribution business to Extreme Reach this summer, DG has a history of purchasing rich media vendors – such as MediaMind (which was Eyeblaster), Eyewonder and Unicast. It also purchased semantic tech company Peer39 in 2012.

Ad Shifting

The New York Times reviewed what DVR and on-demand technology is doing to the television industry and found that a lot of networks are experiencing huge jumps in viewer numbers – in some cases seven days after a show premieres. The problem is convincing advertisers to still pay for their time slots knowing that a lot of people fast forward through commercials on recorded TV. Networks like Fox are trying to push viewers to use video on demand rather than DVR because they are able to block fast forwarding that way. “Most viewing is still occurring during the first three days, but if more viewing continues to shift to four-to-seven, or beyond, we won’t be getting fully compensated,” Joe Earley, COO of Fox Broadcasting, said in an email. Read more.

The IBM Search Engine

In an op-ed on Wired, NYU Information Systems chief Vasant Dhar thinks IBM may have a chance at undoing Google’s core business. “If IBM did search, Watson would do much better than Google on the tough problems and they could still resort to a simple PageRank-like algorithm as a last resort.” Read his reasoning. Dhar admits that IBM would have to swing its positioning into the consumer space – no easy task.

Easy Data

Data visualization is getting a lot more accessible says internet tech company Silk, which uses a basic content-management system to visualize complex data sets. “Basically what we’re teaching people without them realizing it is structur(ed) data is really useful,” said Silk co-founder and CEO Salar al-Khafaji. Read more in PandoDaily.

Digital Pound Sterling

The IAB in the UK sees nothing but digital growth in its latest spending report – this one’s for the first half of 2013.  Among the highlights: “Digital ad spend up 17.5% to record six-month high of over £3 billion or £66 per person online; Mobile now accounts for 14% of total digital spend; 20% of digital display; Consumer goods overtakes entertainment/media as biggest mobile display advertiser.” Read the release.

Xbox Everywhere

Microsoft is betting on the success of home entertainment with its Xbox One, due to be released next month. The company is pitching advertisers on the idea of connected devices with the living room TV as the hub. Ad Age and Adweek were both at the ANA Masters of Marketing Conference, where Yusuf Mehdi, SVP of online audience business, said, “We are trying to bridge some of the world between online and offline.” The idea is that synching up all the devices in a home will bring huge data opportunities to advertisers.

The New Deals

The growth of the “deals and offers” industry has slowed, and part of the blame could be on the redemption process. At least that’s what a group of companies hopes after creating the CardLinx Association, which will link offers directly to a credit card, eliminating the need for vouchers and coupons. So far the group is made up of Microsoft, Bank of America, Discover, Deem, Facebook, First Data, Linkable Networks, LivingSocial, Mastercard and others. Microsoft also announced that its Bing Rewards program will be compatible with the CardLinx system. Read the release.

Google Local Ads

Google announced that it’s adding some local “spice” to its Product Listing Ads.  From the post on the Adwords blog (which seems to have a new product announcement a day): “When someone searches for a product on Google, she may see a Product Listing Ad (PLA) for a local store. When she clicks on the ad, she’ll arrive at a local storefront where she can browse a large selection of the store’s inventory before she visits in person.” Read more.  PLAs add the long tail as search ads continue to get more graphical.  Still more in Internet Retailer.

Secret Searches

A company made up of ex-Googlers and ex-NSA engineers has released a new product called Disconnect Search, which prevents search engines from tracking users. Right now it’s a free product available as a browser add-on, according to TechCrunch. “Even if you never log in to an account, search engines and many websites typically save your searches and connect them to an IP address, which can allow companies to uniquely identify your computer,” said Patrick Jackson, CTO of Disconnect. Read more.

Launch Monday

Weather Channel has launched a new look and feel for its website, Weather.com.  It’s a “scroller” following the trend of other buzzy publishers. See it now.

But Wait, There’s More!

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