Video Ad Selector To Drive $100 Million In Ad Spend; Google Wearing Anti-Trust Target; Facebook Passes Yahoo! For Display Impressions

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Choose Your Own Video Ad Adventure

Get ready for “Ad Selector” – a new video ad format being championed by VivaKi that puts the power of which ad to play in an online video, into the the hands of the viewer. According to Ad Age’s Michael Learmonth, “Vivaki, which is offering it to clients in the upfront, said there’s a $100 million market for the new format this year.” Read it.

Display Made Simpler In NY Times

PaperG’s local advertising product, PlaceLocal, was featured in a New York Times article titled, “An Ad Engine to Put ‘Mad Men’ Out of Business” last Friday. According to the piece, PaperG’s product provides local advertisers with the ability to simply add a name and address to the PlaceLocal system which, in turn, creates a display ad with basics such as “telephone number, hours of business, maps and directions, and adding positive comments extracted from local blogs.” Read more.

Targeting Millennials Cross-Channel

Mediaweek’s Noreen O’Leary profiles Alloy Media CEO Matt Diamond who aims to be the No. 1 media company focused on the “Millennial” demographic. He appears to be succeeding. O’Leary writes, “Alloy Digital Network’s owned and partner sites on the Web have been the most popular destinations with consumers 12-24 for the last 16 months according to comScore, with more than 51 million unique monthly visitors. The company’s advertiser-supported Channel One … broadcasts news each day in 8,000 U.S. schools, reaching 6 million middle- and high-school students.” Read more.

Google As Anti-Trust Target

Brad Stone looks at some of the efforts to bring anti-trust litigation against Google in Sunday’s New York Times. Among the bullet points- a couple who owned a comparison shopping site called Foundem which suffered from Google’s changes to its paid search algorithms. Unfortunately, the NYT does not dig further to discover the reasoning behind the quality score system which affected paid search rankings. Read more.

Yahoo!’s Media Ambitions

Ad Age’s Edmund Lee writes that Yahoo! is looking to eventually double the size of its available content and has also set some near-term milestones. Yahoo! media chief Jimmy Pataro tells Lee, “Right now, across all our media properties, the original content counts for about 10%. We’d like to get to 20% of content being original over the next year.” Read more.

Digital Driving In-Store Sales

Likely influenced by this deal announced in early 2009, BrightRoll & Reckitt Benckiser partnered on a study that showed online video advertising is creating purchase intent which is driving in-store sales – to the tune of a 6% increase for RB’s Air Wick brand product. Always great to see a big brand marketer going on the record about the effectiveness of digital advertising. Read the release. Of note: Nielsen’s NetEffect helped with the attribution.

Google TV And Future Of Sony

CEO Peter Yared of app infrastructure company Transpond says that the recent Google TV announcement is critical for Sony and its own battle with Apple. Yared says, “If Google TV is going to be a successful consumer electronics product, Intel, Sony, Google, and Logitech will need to deliver both a great Android-based consumer electronics product and a compelling end-to-end user experience.” Read more. And, see the Google TV video from GOOG.

Facebook Imps Pass Yahoo!

Cnet’s Caroline McCarthy says that Facebook is now beating Yahoo! when it comes to display ad impressions. McCarthy writes “Facebook’s total U.S. display ad count for the first quarter of this year was 176.3 billion, according to ComScore, followed by Yahoo with 131.5 billion and Microsoft with 60.1 billion.” Read more. But is a UGC ad impression, on average, worth the same as a big brand, content site’s ad impression?

Yahoo! Investor Day Qs

In a research note, Citibank analyst Mark Mahaney offers his top 10 questions for Yahoo!’s May 26 Investor day: “1) What are the short & long-term goals for Yahoo!’s Display Ad biz?; 2) MSFT Search Deal – Monetization, Marketshare, and P&L impact?; 3) How much op margin expansion can this mgmt deliver?; 4) How does Yahoo! stay relevant vs. Social Media companies?; 5) How does YHOO maintain its top position in key verticals?; 6) What does Yahoo! plan to do with its Asian Internet Investment Portfolio?; 7) What’s YHOO’s M&A strategy? 8 ) What are Yahoo!’s plans for preserving its Affiliate Network?; 9) What are Yahoo!’s plan for its balance sheet?; & 10) What is Yahoo!’s International strategy?”

More On Google Ventures

Google Ventures is heating up as Big G looks to spread some g’s and provide the company’s new venture arm a decent return-on-investment. Mass High Tech features the Cambridge-based office (there’s another one in Mountain View) and its two partners, Rich Miner and Krishna Yeshwant, who “have been actively looking at investments for a year or more.” As for what makes an entrepreneur backable, Miner says, “There is the repeat entrepreneur – the guy who has done it once or more, and who clearly has learned through some success or scars, and who has the fire in his or her belly and the drive to do another startup…” Read more.

Our M&A Team Sucks

Peter Kafka identified first – and then Ars Technica expanded on it – that during the rights management wars between Google’s YouTube and Viacom, things got ugly as both sides let the f and a bombs fly. This came to light after the most recent releases of info from Google and Viacom on the suit. Even more revealing is former Viacom CEO Tom Freston’s villification of his M&A team which missed out on MySpace and YouTube: “”No M&A team in recent history could have a poorer record than us. We are a joke… and our failed judgments and heavy handed behavior have cost us HUGELY.” Read more from Ars Technica. And, read All Things D’s Peter Kafka.

Google, Amazon, E-Commerce

On his personal blog, angel investor Chris Dixon says that Amazon has the potential to dominate the e-commerce space and Google should pay attention. Interesting view. From here it might be early to say that Amazon will dominate e-commerce. They are the leaders in e-commerce (read April WSJ story) but other brands lurk such as Wal-Mart which has $400 billion (about $2 billion was e-commerce according to the last figures available) in total revenues compared to Amazon’s $19 billion. Read more on why Google should battle Amazon.

Gannett Getting In Local Ads Game

According to Gannett Blog (which focuses on Gannett strategy, as you might guess), Gannett is launching a new initiative intended to address the local digital advertising opportunity available to small and medium-sized businesses. Gannett Blog writes, “The unit, GannettLocal, will be part of the U.S. newspaper division and will be led from offices in Phoenix by Brad Robertson, currently publisher of Gannett’s Burlington, Vt., newspaper.” Read more. (source: PaidContent)

Rafat Ali Leaves

PaidContent’s Rafat Ali is leaving ContentNext and PaidContent according to a post he made on the site on Friday.   Ali addresses his future and says, “the honest answer is, I am in the middle of figuring it out. The good part is I have lots of choices; the bad part is that I have lots of choices. Very likely it will be another startup, in a larger media and marketing space.” Read more.

Cyberplex Acquires Publisher Network

Late last week, Toronto-based performance marketing company, Cyberplex Media (which almost bought Burst Media) bought publisher Tsavo Media for $75 million.  According to the release, Tsavo Media “has more than 300 websites offering consumer information in five strategic categories – health & wellness, technology, lifestyle, education and finance. Its network of sites attracts more than 30 million visitors each month.”  The acquisition also includes a private placement by GMP Securities among others. Read the release.

Another New Seed Fund

TechCrunch’s Leena Rao says that incubator Y-Combinator has created a new $8.25 million fund with participation  led by Sequoia Capital and including Ron Conway, Paul Buchheit, Aydin Senkut, XG Ventures, and Geoff Ralston. The incubator gets more than 1,000 applications for each of its investment review “sessions.”  Read it.

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