• U.S. Web Spending: Strong Or Weak Economy?
    The Interactive Advertising Bureau released yet more robust spending figures from Internet advertisers in the second quarter, but a Financial Times report swoops in to steal some of that thunder. Despite a high rise of 37 percent from a year before, totaling $7.9 billion for the first half of the year, S&P analyst Scott Kessler points out that display advertising lost 3 percent of its share of the total, falling from 34 percent to 31 percent of spending. That slowdown--a worrisome sign for publishers--mirrors Yahoo's highly publicized restatement of expected third-quarter ad sales on falling demand for display. The million-dollar ...
  • Click Fraud Bigger, More Sophisticated Problem
    Click fraud is getting worse--and advertiser confidence in providers of search-engine advertising, namely Google and Yahoo, might be slipping. The widespread problem, like so many instances of fraud on the Web, is becoming more sophisticated. There's actually a thriving click-fraud underground teeming with small-time players operating large "paid to read" rings that have hundreds of thousands of members each. The report says members of PTR rings can be found from Kentucky to China, making from $25 to several thousand dollars per month. Other fraudsters deploy "clickbot" software to generate page hits automatically and anonymously. Google and Yahoo maintain that they're ...
  • Is Facebook Worth $1 Billion?
    Here's a question that's been bandied about thousands of times: Is the social-networking phenom Facebook worth $1 billion? Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons answered that with a resounding "no" last week. CNNMoney also posits the question, asking investors from Wall Street as well as Facebook's college student users what they think of its possible $1 billion sale to Yahoo. "What's beautiful about Facebook is that it's a great place to advertise because it generates the equivalent of online word-of-mouth. That's a powerful phenomenon," says Richard Dorfman, a managing director of Richard Alan Inc., a financial advisory and investment company focused ...
  • Digg.com Founders Move Into Podcasting
    Digg.com founders Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson are moving on to the next project, starting a second company just as their first one is taking off. Called Revision3 Corporation, this next venture is an Internet video production firm they have been running in their spare time. Now Revision3 is on its way to becoming a full-fledged company, having secured $1 million in funding from a group of investors that includes Netscape founder Marc Andreesen, Greylock Partners, a VC firm that has backed Facebook, LinkedIn and Digg. The new company targets tech geeks, and aims to build a network of tech-oriented ...
  • Rights Issues Behind YouTube's WMG Deal
    Even if you're not in the recording biz or the movie industry, you know that Hollywood is a complicated world of lawyers and licensing and distribution contracts. So it should come as no surprise that the much-hyped deal struck between viral video provider YouTube and Warner Music Group is more complicated than it might appear. The deal cleared WMG's music and music video catalog for use on YouTube, but for videos created by the YouTube community, releasing those rights is much more complicated than simply receiving WMG's blessing. WMG is able to sign off on its master rights for recordings, ...
  • Newspaper Group Wants to Tell Google What To Index
    Global publishers are banding together to face what they feel is a mounting global threat to their business: Google News. Spurred on by a recent decision that Google was infringing on the copyright of French and German-language newspapers in Belgium by providing article snippets in search results, a group of publishers is now planning to introduce an automated service that grants search engines permission on how to use their content. "This industry-wide initiative positively answers the growing frustration of publishers, who continue to invest heavily in generating content for online dissemination and use," says Gavin O'Reilly, chairman of the World ...
  • Google, Madison Avenue Enjoy New Working Arrangement
    Google finally needs Madison Avenue--well, sort of. The search giant is famous for its groundbreaking ad platform, from which it has gleaned billions. But it's equally famous for never having spent a dime on advertising. Well, it's still not spending a dime on advertising, but it is partnering with ad agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners to work on a project for client Saturn of Irving, Texas. The project, which begins today, is a test of a campaign for Saturn's Aura, bundling together several Google products and services, like clickable video clips and Google Earth's satellite mapping tool. Visitors to a ...
  • MSN Soapbox Review
    CNET offers a review of the nuts and bolts of MSN's Soapbox, leaving commentary on its merits, for the most part, aside. Soapbox has some nice features, like the ability to tag other people's videos and comment on them, which makes the most popular videos easy to find. Unlike YouTube, you can also browse the site's video catalog without stopping the video you're watching. Obviously, Soapbox uses Windows Media Player technology for those using Internet Explorer. For those using Mozilla's Firefox browser or Apple's Safari, it uses Flash. Uploading is easy, just like it is on YouTube. Videos can be ...
  • Yahoo's Facebook Deal In Zuckerberg's Hands
    Negotiations continue between Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.com, and Yahoo over the sale of the online social network for an estimated $900 million. In January, Viacom offered Zuckerberg $750 million, but the 22-year-old founder countered with a request for $2 billion and was rebuffed. Since then, Facebook's member growth has stalled--holding steady at around 9 million--but a recent ad deal with MSN will boost display and search revenues. So maybe $2 billion was too much to expect, after all. Two unnamed industry executives said Zuckerberg is now seriously mulling Yahoo's offer--which they say would keep the company somewhat independent, with ...
  • Market Gossip As Enterprise Search
    Google's enterprise search just isn't enough anymore for companies in certain sectors. What about investment companies that want to keep their pulse on Web chatter about the companies they've invested in? Monitor110 is a platform being deployed by today's hedge funds that can trawl more than 40 million Internet sources--everything from blogs to regulatory filings--for company information. Founded by a former Deutsche Bank exec and backed by the same venture-capital firm that backed Skype before it was sold to eBay for $4.1 billion last year, Monitor110 is being tried out by about 10 hedge funds before a full-scale launch early ...
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