Yahoo! Beats Estimates; Lining Up The Mobile Ad Network Acquisitions; Gates On Google; Selling PPD

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Yahoo Q4 2009Yahoo! Reports Q4 ’09

Yahoo! reported its Q4 earnings for 2009 and the big news is “CEO Carol Bartz noting that the company would disable its irksome ‘hover interaction’ on the homepage,” according to Kara Swisher of All Things D. The Associated Press reports that earnings for Yahoo! beat analysts’ estimates as the company earned a chunky $150 million and Q4 revenues stopped sliding as much (only 4%) as they had in previous quarters. Read it.

More highlights from the Seeking Alpha transcript:

  • CFO Tim Morse: “O&O display was essentially flat year-over-year which was a big improvement compared with where we were earlier in 2009. The best news was that display grew an impressive 26% sequentially. 4Q is of course a seasonally strong quarter but this year’s sequential growth was the strongest we had seen since 2006.”
  • Morse claimed that the guaranteed inventory was squeezing supply for non-guaranteed and causing prices to go up for non-guaranteed.
  • CEO Carol Bartz: “Demand for our guaranteed display inventory is growing. We are seeing advertisers reach farther into 2010 to book premium Yahoo! sites and events so we expect the positive momentum to keep building.”
  • Morse indicated that the “housecleaning” around ad networks who bought inventory from Yahoo! and were booted or curtailed due to poor “quality scores” would not have as much impact on revenue as originally estimated – $150 million instead of $240 million.
  • Bartz added the following during her only mention of Right Media, “We have 120,000 active buyers and sellers there would have to be a major shift to cause any kind of a problem with display inventory.”

Read the Investor Relations release. Or, listen to the call yourself.

Mobile Ad M&A Game On

BusinessWeek’s Olga Kharif covers the mobile ad network M&A madness and identifies four potential acquisition targets: Millennial Media, Jumptap, Greystripe, and Tapjoy and Mobclix. The article reveals that Jumptap’s revenue increased 5x year-over-year as CEO Dan Olschwang whetted the appetites of potential acquirers with, “More [advertisers] now treat mobile as a must-have component in their media mix.” Click here for mobile millionaires.

The Experian Data Feed

Experian announced ANOTHER product – this time its Experian Simmons DataStreamSM. It appears to be more for offline marketing but why couldn’t it be for digital: “a syndicated service that allows marketers to measure and evaluate advertising effectiveness by providing weekly tracking of approximately 40,000 consumer variables from the Simmons National Consumer Study, including an extensive range of brands, media properties and consumer attitudes. In addition to weekly tracking, it also includes two full years of historical data.” Crunch the press release here.

Hot NYC Startups

AppNexus and Pontiflex made the list of news daily amNewYork’s “New York City’s 10 hottest tech startups.” The list was based on “the amount of money they raised in 2009 and the volume of social media activity the startups generated last year.” Read it.

Gates On Google

On the New York Times’ Bits blog, Bill Gates gets interviewed and both defends and questions recent Google moves and news. He defends the idea that Google is not a monopolist saying that Big G is the beneficiary of a “positive feedback loop.” On the other hand, recent news about Google pulling out of China as if to signal a humanitarian or legal concern, has not impressed Gates: “What point are they making? Now, if Google ever chooses to pull out of the United States, then I’d give them credit.” Read more. (source: zimbalist)

A Public Tech CEO

One of the pleasures of working as an executive at a public company is that everyone knows what you make. Craig Douglas of the Boston Business Journal says that Akamai is scaling back on executive pay which will be “more heavily weighted toward salaries and cash bonuses, versus equity-related awards.” Nevertheless, CEO Paul Sagan, who will make $625,000 this year, a 15% increase – plus $1 million in options and a bushel full of stock. Read more.

Forced Fun

Grant McCracken looks at the office. Not that The Office. But a real one – namely Zappos where visitors are greeted by “staffers [who] blow horns and ring cowbells to bid them welcome.” It’s forced fun and it’s over the line says McCracken, who adds that “commandeering personal emotions in the interest of forced conviviality seems to me wrong.” Read more on the honk here.

Greystripe Selling PPD

VentureBeat’s Paul Boutin covers sobile ad network, Greystripe, which is selling ads through a 99 cents pay-per-download (PPD – another acronym!) model – or CPA and the action is the download. According to the partner mentioned in the release, the results are pretty good. Ok, maybe better than pretty good. Boutin writes, “PlayMesh founder Charles Ju, in a prepared statement for Greystripe, said that the company’s iFarm game received a 56% conversion rate on clicks and generated more than 60,000 downloads with the 99 cent download program.” Read the story.


PaidContent’s David Kaplan notes the seed round for Israel-based IgnitAd which says on its home page that it has “an innovative optimization system that will take the online advertising market forward and will increase performance for both advertisers and publishers.” It’s a DSPSSP! See the stealthy site. Read more from PaidContent.

Targeting Reputation

Hutch Carpenter, the VP of Product for Spigit, gives a great overview of the reputation data available on the web. The implications for display advertising or other targetable digital media is clear. Carpenter writes, “As reliance on people for information increases, expect an increased need for knowing which strangers provide the top quality information.” Target top quality infoseekers here.

Permuto Talks Tech, Teachers

Permuto’s Shaukat Shamim is interviewed on Technorati and talks Permuto tech. Shamim says Permuto’s semantic modeling is the key to delivering the right product ad at the right time to a prospective customer. Also – he reveals that he was once a computer programming teacher of high school teachers. Read more.

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