Amazon Reports Earnings, Build-Out In Progress; IAB Announces Networks And Exchanges Agenda; Retargeters Partnering With Data For Display

amazon Q1 2011Here’s today’s news round-up… Want it by email? Sign-up here.

Amazon Reports Q1, Build-Out

Amazon reported its Q1 2011 earnings yesterday and missed Wall Street analyst earnings projections as “Net income decreased 33% to $201 million in the first quarter, or $0.44 per diluted share, compared with net income of $299 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, in first quarter 2010,” according to the press release (PDF). Analysts had expected 61 cents per share versus the reported 44 cents. ZDnet’s Larry Dignan covers the conference call and says that Amazon has decided to build-out. He quotes Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak who said on the call, “The increase in capital expenditures reflects additional investments in support of continued business growth, including investments in technology infrastructure, including Amazon Web ServicesAmazon Web Services (AWS)…” Within AWS, surely robust display ad capabilities for Amazon, its partners and vendors are on the way. Read more on ZDnet. Listen to the earnings call webcast.

Networks & Exchanges Convene

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) is holding its annual Networks & Exchanges Marketplace meeting on May 16 in NYC. The full-day agenda includes a keynote by Upstream Group’s Doug Weaver, AMEX will talk about their ad tech-driven marketing efforts, and an agency trading desk panel will include execs from Cadreon (IPG), Varick Media Management (MDC Partners), WPP’s the Media Innovation Group and VivaKi Nerve Center (Publicis). And, much more! See the entire agenda. And, sign-up here.

Data, Display Partnership

Data management platform, TagMan, and personalized retargeting company, Criteo, announced a new partnership focused on e-commerce companies who are looking to “attribute ROI of their online retargeting campaigns, in real-time across all channels — not just search or display.” Read more. Criteo continues to grow its partner network such as the recently-announced deal with Marin Software.

AdRoll Rolling With E-Commerce

The business development mojo is pulsing in the ad ecosystem. From the company blog, Adam Berke of online ad retargeting tech company AdRoll announced 5 new partnership with 3DCart, Miva Merchant, Shopify, UltraCart, and Volusion in order to help those e-commerce companies customers leverage their first-party data using online ad retargeting tactics. Read more.

Muse-ing About The Creative

Mobile ad technology firm Medialets announced that it is going to try to better serve rich media designers with its new Medialets Muse creative dashboard for rich media advertising. According to a company blog post, “Muse provides everything advertisers and publishers with the ability to create “rich media ads in as little as 15 minutes.” And for more complex ads, Medialets says Muse offers project management capabilities for rich media creative.Read more.

Search Ads Suck

Josh Shatkin-Margolis of search retargeting company Magnetic says in a think piece in Ad Age: “Search-engine marketing (SEM) is the worst form of advertising.” And, that’s just the first line! He thinks search ads lack persuasive capabilities and that for marketers to get to the right audience, well, (cough, cough) search retargeting with display ads is the way to go. Read more.

The Effect Of The Algo

Entrepreneur and investor Andrew Payne takes a look at recent Demand Media public SEC filings and tries to figure out the impact of recent search engine changes by Google on Demand. He poses the following before he dissects: “How do Google’s updates affect the per-article ROI? Can Demand Media make a $20 article fee back in some reasonable period of time?” Payne sees dark clouds ahead.

Accountable Advertising

Echoing themes from the recently announced Council for Accountable Advertising, MediaMath Platform GM Tony Katsur makes the case for the demand-side platform through his company’s lens in a think piece titled “How Accountable Data Will Fuel DSP Demand” on AdMonsters. Katsur writes, “Moving forward, the true definition of a DSP encompasses everything from campaign IO management all the way through the buying process – creative optimization, analytics and clearinghouse services for the agency and advertiser. Whether accomplished via a build or a buy partnership model, the DSP becomes the one stop for media buyers.” Read it.

More Grenades

Lotame CEO Andy Monfried offers a rebuttal to Krux Digital’s rebuttal of a recent Lotame opinion piece. Monfried writes, “Sadly, we can’t know what motivates companies to make erroneous claims – perhaps a desire to poach clients or perhaps to undermine a sterling reputation. We respect Krux’s point of view and appreciate what we hope is their well-intentioned dissent.” Read more.

comScore Reach Numbers

in case you missed it, late last week, comScore published the latest list of top publishers and ad networks (pay for play for the ad nets) for March 2011. Within the ad network results it appears ShareThis has exploded from reach of 68 million U.S. uniques in February (#40) to the #5 slot with a reach of a little over 170 million in March. See the stats (PDF).

This Week’s Hacker Attack

The NY Times reports that a hacker has gotten beyond the security protections within Sony’s Playstation platform network and exposed Playstation owners’ “names, addresses, e-mail addresses and PlayStation usernames and passwords. Sony also warned that other sensitive information, including credit card numbers, could have been obtained.” The network has been down since the attack on April 20 according to the NYT. Read more.

Financing Ad Tech Services

VC Mark Suster offers a provacative piece titled “What Should You Do With Your Crappy Little Services Business?” on TechCrunch. Believe it or not, he tries to help services businesses with tips and tricks including avoiding venture capital and something he calls “vendor financing.” Suster writes, “When you start to win business – let’s say as an implementation arm for tech / business products or as an ad sales team for large tech / media businesses – you can often get financed in a small way by your vendors who are all to happy to have a bigger ecosystem of implementation houses.” Read more.

Hot Smarts

Results of a study of U.S. smartphone “mobile consumers” from July-September 2010 showed that consumers had a clear preference on what operating system they wanted next. According to Nielsen, “A third (33%) wanted an Apple iPhone. Slightly more than a quarter (26%) said they desired a device with the Google Android operating system (OS). And 13 percent said they wanted a RIM Blackberry.” Anecdotally, it seems like it’s possible these findings are already outdated considering Android momentum. But, read more from Nielsen.

Agency Heimlich

On her personal blog, Ana Andjelic says that it’s not just a “simple hire” that can turn a traditional agency into an agency built for the future. She thinks what needs to change is deeper: “…Organizations are different because they interpret the world differently. Transformation depends more on those in the agency who welcome the newcomers than the newcomers themselves.” Read more.

The Consumer Data Debate

Brooke Aker, CMO of semantic tech company Admantx, weighs in on the consumer privacy and online behavioral advertising debate on Digiday saying, “… Our industry would gladly agree to making opt-out universal and easy in exchange for killing opt-in or “do-not-track” and in exchange for maintaining the protection from lawsuits the Kerry-McCain bills gives them.” Read more.

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