Amazon Makes Cash, But Keeps Investing; Paywalls And ‘Not-Profits’; Affectiva Scanning For Emotion And Ads

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Amazon Earns said its Q4 2011 sales were up 35% to $17.43 billion as its e-reader the Kindle had strong holiday sales. Wall Street had been expecting sales to come in a about $800 million dollars higher. Read the release. But that wasn’t what Wall Street was expecting as The Business Insider notes: “The big reason is a rise in operating expenses, from $12.5 billion in last year’s quarter to $17.2 billion this year.” Read it. Amazon continues to invest for the long haul (like selling cheap Kindle’s0 in spite of what the Street and some investors may prefer.

Paywalls And “Not-Profits”

In an National Public Radio (NPR) interview, Web pundit Clay Shirky comments on the pay wall models of several publishers including the NY Times, and says, “Psychologically it moves the New York Times business model closer to NPR, where a majority of listeners don’t donate in any given year, but those of us who do sign up, become, you know, members, in my case WNYC, become members of their local station give money, are supporting the enterprise for the rest of the population.” That doesn’t sound profitable. Read more about his views.

On Google Selling Guaranteed

As previously announced, isocket is enabling Google clients who wish to buy and sell guaranteed inventory through a DoubleClick For Publishers ad server plug-in. Now, there’s a sales-y case study that explains a bit more (PDF) and the DFP API’s benefits. isocket’s Ben Trenda says in the pitch that his company’s new plug-in “allows a publisher to make inventory available to the isocket platform without having to pre-allocate impressions.” Why wouldn’t a DFP publisher look at this? Well, maybe, if they don’t have the analytics to figure out the proper allocation to that channel, or they don’t want Google to handle its guaranteed. But, tech would seem to eventually speak to analytic challenges. The Google juggernaut plows on… [sound of ship moving through crashing surf here]

Now Scanning

Affectiva (AdExchanger Q&A) says it is testing new ways to gauge emotional response to ads with WPP’s Millward Brown. WPP is also an investor in Affectiva. The press release explains that the Affectiva product, Affdex, requires a webcam for the test subject. Additionally, the companies claims it “measures moment-by-moment, nonverbal communication, [and] it captures additional diagnostics that surveys may miss, and it also works across cultures and geographical boundaries.” Scan for emotion now.

Counting Currency

Adnetik’s Nate Woodman delivers “The Paradox of Measurement” on ClickZ as he explores whether or not there’s the marketing equivalent of currency. (He’s dubious on the idea). Woodman sees the CPA (cost per action) as a trip wire and concludes, “As long as digital marketers continue to offer the current state of CPA as currency, then marketers will continue to underinvest in digital. Digital media was promised as the most measurable media, but we got the measurement wrong. Our mistake keeps scale out of the industry. It’s a cruel paradox, but one I believe to be true.” Read more.

Inside The Publisher (Agency)

The Online Publishers Association (OPA) in the U.S. is inviting industry types to have a look at some live video webcasts from the OPA Summit today and tomorrow. The OPA says that “for the first time, the OPA is inviting the public inside their traditionally members-only event with a number of live-streamed presentations.” A few big names from the agency world will be presenting including Matt Freeman of IPG’s McCann Erickson and Rishad Tobaccowala of Publicis’ VivaKi unit. For more, visit the OPA homepage or here’s the live session home page.

Let’s Measure

KSL Media’s Steven Kaufman talks media with The Makegood. Kaufman shares key changes he’d like to see in 2012: “I’d like to see the industry quantify the value of a Facebook like as well as the value of engagement versus an impression. And along those same lines, I’d like to see the digital industry finally create a new form of measurement around engagement that is not GRP, iGRPs or CTRs – it’s time we had standardized metrics.” Read it.

Winning Telekom

Did the July 2010 acquisition of German ad network Wunderloop just pay off? Perhaps. AudienceScience announced that it has won over Deutsche Telekom as a client. From the release, “Deutsche Telekom will leverage the [AudienceScience] Gateway technology to enable Interactive Media and Scout24 Group to provide more targeted and relevant messages via online campaigns to the appropriate audience at the right time of engagement.” Read the release.

Sharing Ads

Sharethrough CEO Dan Greenberg believes today’s social sharing world is going to lead to less interruptive advertising in a think piece on iMedia Connection. “Let’s not interrupt [consumers], but draw them to us by creating content that people want and choose to watch, giving them a reason to share. Let’s make every day the Super Bowl. Read more. Need more sharing ad kool-aid? On Ad Age, BlinQ’s Dave Williams says sharing makes ads better on Facebook. Read it.


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