The New Aol Premium Ad Network; Microsoft On Audience, Context, Exchanges; Adobe And Experian Join Hands On Data

Aol and Its Ad NetworkHere’s today’s news round-up… Want it by email? Sign-up here.

The New Premium Ad Network

Following on its announcement last week, Aol announced yesterday that its Pictela unit “is partnering with, Meredith Corporation, Variety, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network and The Weather Channel’s to help them deploy the IAB Portrait ad unit (see the IAB) across their digital platforms.” Read Aol’s release. As Aol corrals Pictela placements across publisher sites large and small, it provides a more impressive brand advertising opportunity with its standardized, “big ads” strategy. can also offer to sell the placements for large pubs in addition to letting those pubs sell it through their direct salesforce. Wrap in the sweet sauce of data-infused targeting and it’s a whole new level of CPMs for ad networks and publishers. And over time, those units could become real-time biddable to a select group of brand advertisers in an exchange-like environment. Ohhh.. papa don’t PREACH! (with the eventual exchange/SSP – my phrase – like it?) is back!

Van der Kooi Speaks Audience

Microsoft exec and data-driven ad leader in Redmond, Rik van der Kooi, took the stage at the Cannes ad festival and delivered data-driven love. He also spread some love on the Microsoft ad blog where he writes, “The value for advertisers will be realized when advertising has context and intent ‘baked’ into it so that it can help people accomplish tasks and provide added value along the way. Ads based on intent will be personalized to interests, location-aware, socially connected and more immersive than ever before.” Here, here. And this speaks to Microsoft’s sell-side focus where publisher’s want to hear that it’s not ALL about audience in the real-time bidded world. Read more. Meanwhile, Microsoft brought news to Cannes of European expansion with its exchange strategy saying in a release it is “officially ‘open for business’ in the UK and Netherlands with launches planned for Canada, France and Germany in the coming months. In addition, the company announced that all Windows Phone 7 in-app ad inventory is now available globally via the Microsoft Advertising Exchange for Mobile.” Read the release.

Admeld Undercurrents

DIGIDAY’s Mike Shields looks at the recent Admeld acquisition and talks to several unnamed clients, one of which sounds none too pleased about Admeld getting swallowed by Google (pending regulatory approval): “This lets one company control display, and that is wrong, wrong, wrong. This is the one thing that Google didn’t do. If the No. 1 ad network gets to control the [buy side market], you’d think the government would get involved. Otherwise we’ll see Google putting their thumbs on the scale.” Thumb a ride here!

comScore And One BILLION Visitors

comScore has released its latest pay-for-play ad network rankings for May and Turn has moved ahead of ValueClick and Specific Media into 4th place behind Google, Aol and Yahoo!’s ad network entries. Download May traffic (PDF). And, compare it to April if you like (PDF). Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is the first website ever to achieve one billion uniques worldwide according to comScore data. Read it (subscription). For a benchmark, you may have heard recently Facebook came close to 700 million globally.

The 5 Principles of Brand Spend

The Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) recently released its five digital measurement principles and PaidContent’s David Kaplan takes a look. The new initiative is aimed at making measurement easier for marketers to spend online. Kaplan writes, “The principles themselves are pretty broad and are anodyne in nature (who’s going to make a serious argument against counting ‘viewable impressions?’). (…) [but] consider these principles a clear step in the right direction and reflection of the evolution currently taking place.” Read more. And, read the IAB’s original release.

Overlaying The Site Data

Oh what a tangled web of data we weave. Experian Marketing Services announced that it will sharing its Experian Hitwise data with that of Adobe/Omniture’s web analytics product, SiteCatalyst. According to a release, The result will be “dashboards [that] allow clients of both services to understand how internal site trends, seen through Adobe SiteCatalyst, compare with consumer behavior on competitive Websites, delivered through Experian Hitwise.” The next question is whether Hitwise or Omniture will ever enable the purchase of media against those segments. [publisher scream here] Read the release. It would seem unlikely given the access to competitive cookie data potentially. On the other hand, in a co-operative environment similar to Akamai’s formerly-named-Acerno-now-ADS business among others, maybe it would work?

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