• Ross Fadner, May 19, 2008, 11:15 AM
  • News Corp. Launches Global Ad NetworkReuters News Corp. on Monday launched a new online ad network focusing on financial news. Called Worthnet.Fox, the new global network contains 30 financial news and advice sites, including News Corp.'s Dow Jones properties The Wall Street Journal, Barron's and Marketwatch. Its target audience is executives who frequently travel all over the world on business. According to Reuters, Worthnet.Fox comes is a response to Dow Jones' growing international presence, and will help the media conglomerate mine new areas like Latin America.

    "The economy has grown around the world and has helped create a new global affluent individual," said Hernán López, chief operating officer of Fox International Channels. One example could be "the head of world financial companies that expands his operations in India and wants a local manager that has experience in more international companies."

    Fox is a division of News Corp. that has been relatively unknown until April, when it purchased the European online video ad network Utarget. Soon, the Fox network will also start working with News Corp.'s Internet content division, Fox Interactive Media. Read the whole story...
  • Microsoft Pursuing "Lost Cause" Yahoo Search DealSilicon Alley Insider Microsoft on Sunday issued a statement indicating an openness to return to the bargaining table with Yahoo, even though the software giant walked away from negotiations to acquire the company less than two weeks ago. This time, Microsoft says it favors a smaller-scale deal rather than an outright acquisition, though it doesn't discount the possibility of either outcome.

    Sources tell Kara Swisher that Yahoo's search ad business is Microsoft's primary concern, as the combination would make for a credible No. 2 competitor to Google in the search business. Microsoft could either purchase Yahoo Search or enter a deal to be its exclusive partner. Such a deal would allow Yahoo to keep its online display business, its communications assets and its content properties, areas which Swisher says Yahoo should have stayed focused on in the first place, instead of branching out into search.

    As Silicon Alley Insider's Henry Blodget says, this would be a good deal for Yahoo, because the Web giant will continue ceding search share to Google no matter what, so it may as well get some money for its technology. However, Microsoft is ultimately chasing "a lost cause," says Blodget, seeing as neither Yahoo nor Microsoft can maintain search share against Google, let alone gain it. You have to wonder why Microsoft is so hell bent on beating Google in search-a game that most analysts agree is effectively over. Read the whole story...
  • Recession To Hit Display Advertising The New York Times Display advertising may suffer as the economy slows. Mixed results from the likes of Yahoo and Time Warner indicate that online publishers may be getting less money for the ad space they sell. More and more advertisers are opting for automated targeting and delivery through cheaper advertising networks instead of buying directly from expensive publishers like Yahoo. And the cost continues to go down, dropping 23% from March to April, according to PubMatic, a technology firm that runs an online pricing index. The drop was even steeper among large Web publishers, falling 52%, according to the firm.

    If those figures are accurate, the rest of 2008 will be painful for big media firms whose online services depend mostly on display advertising. That lengthy list includes Yahoo, AOL, Viacom, News Corp., The New York Times Co., Disney, CBS, NBC-Universal, CNET, and many others. As Sanford C. Bernstein & Company analyst Jeffrey Lindsay says: "The weakest form (of online advertising), the one that's most susceptible to a downturn - and this is what we're seeing - is display advertising,"

    Lindsay added that recession fears might actually be a boost to some media companies, such as those depending on automated advertising systems like search. "In a moderate or even quite severe downturn, online advertising actually improves, because people switch their advertising budgets out of traditional advertising formats - TV, radio and print - and move more online because it's got higher performance, it's cheaper and it's more measurable," he said. Read the whole story...
  • Facebook's Leaky Friend DataTechCrunch As Google, MySpace and Facebook battle to become the primary gatekeeper of user data portability, TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld points out that friend data is already being leaked out of their Web sites unbeknownst to them. "Startups are finding ways around their official APIs to get the data consumers want into their own systems," he said.

    Steve Repetti, CTO of Zude, a personalized Web page service, said he was tired of waiting for "true data portability" to arrive, so Zude came out with SocialMix, a feature lets users import friends lists, photos, profile information, status updates, comments and other data from Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Orkut and hi5. "What we are doing is taking the information and normalizing it and making it available in any manner you want," Repetti said. Media6, another startup, leverages social data by placing cookies on Facebook ads to collect social data for advertisers. Its technology remembers if you click on an ad, and then serves the same one to all of your friends, who are "two to 10 times more likely" to click on it, too, according to the company.

    Facebook can go and shut these companies down, but the greater concern is Google, which crawls the entire Web, gaining free access to that data. Even so, "Facebook is going to have a hell of a time trying to put (the social data) back in the barn," he said. Read the whole story...
  • AOL: Yahoo To Lose Bebo Ad DealFinancial Times Yahoo looks set to lose out on yet another major advertising deal, as it emerged today that AOL, in finalizing its $850 million acquisition of Bebo, will most likely not renew Yahoo's pact with the UK social networking giant after once their display advertising deal is up in September 2009. Actually, it's an absolute certainty: AOL's Platform A will take over Bebo's advertising operations in Australia, Ireland and the UK once the Yahoo deal ends in September 2009, because why else would the Time Warner company have bought the social network in the first place?

    Bebo's chief executive Joanna Shields confirmed the news earlier Monday when she announced that Bebo would ultimately be combined with AOL's Instant Messenger and other communications platforms into the new People Networks division, which Shields will be head of. The loss of Bebo's business would be yet another big blow to Yahoo, as the Bebo partnership is Yahoo's only significant advertising deal with a major social network. Google, meanwhile, has MySpace and Orkut, while Microsoft has Facebook. Read the whole story...
  • Social Networking's Hits And Misses Adweek Read the whole story...
  • Four Promising Mobile Social NetworksRead Write Web Read the whole story...