• Google Prepares DoubleClick Answer
    It's a strange fact of life that Web "frienemy" (yes, we love that word) Google, doesn't accept third-party ad tags. Given the news that competitor Microsoft is considering a bid for the ad-server DoubleClick, which serves graphical CPMs for a huge portion of the ad world, rumors have surfaced that Google is planning to build its own third-party ad server for graphical ads. As yet, Google's AdWords ads are served to publishers that have to sign up for the Google network, AdSense. Moving into DoubleClick territory, a bulky undertaking for big G, would solve "a BIG problem" writes performance ...
  • Photobucket Cheap at $400 Million?
    Photobucket has hired Lehman Brothers to explore a possible sale, and the firm believes Photobucket to be worth something in the neighborhood of $300-$400 million -- cheap, given its growth. Even thought the company's still in debt, sources say Photobucket is close to breaking -- even without having used most of the $15 million it just raised in venture capital. The insiders say the company made $4.35 million in 2005, $9.34 million in '06 and is expected to breach $32 million this year. But how is it making this money? Premium accounts and advertising, of course. It's ...
  • Take 2 Shareholders, Overthrow Board
    As expected Take 2 Interactive Software's shareholders, who own a 46.1 percent majority stake in the company, removed its existing board, nominating ZelnickMedia's Strauss Zelnick as chair and replacing Paul Eibeler with Benjamin Feder as acting chief executive. In all, six board members were ousted, and a seventh, Grover Brown, was added (and consequently reappointed) as the last director. The new board plans to spend the next several months deciding what should be done about the video game maker's ailing financials, caused by poor game sales from some of its units and an options backdating scandal involving former chairman and ...
  • Is The Google-Too-Powerful Argument Passé?
    Given that the search giant is still a long way away from cornering the new media market, these Google-will-takeover-the-world stories seem either anachronistic or ahead of the their time, depending on your bias. Nevertheless, Business Week offered a story on the potential dominance of the multi-billion dollar company that started it all with a search box. In 2004, a pair of young journalists posted the tongue-in-cheek documentary "EPIC 2014" about a company called Googlezon (Google and Amazon) that comes to dominate the media--indeed, the entire information industry, through a comprehensive media and search delivery platform. Well, it ...
  • Barry Diller Sounds Off On Old Media
    Media mogul and IAC/InteractiveCorp chief Barry Diller sat down with the Financial Times to discuss the current state of the media business, dropping his two cents on the News Corp.-NBC joint venture, Google, YouTube and Viacom, and other media developments. Regarding News Corp. and NBC, Diller recalls the old saying that media doesn't want anyone else in control, adding, it's inevitable for traditional media companies to try and move into video with a degree of control. Diller thinks old media "to a degree will be successful" in video. More importantly, it will be able to establish (a presumably ...
  • DoubleClick Reflects Shifting Strategy for Microsoft
    In report published on Wednesday, sources told the Journal that Microsoft was leading the way in negotiations to buy ad-serving provider DoubleClick from the private-equity group Hellman & Friedman for an estimated $2 billion. Why? An acquisition of DoubleClick would drive home the point that Microsoft's build-not-buy strategy just isn't working via Web-based advertising. DoubleClick, however, "is right in the middle of it," acting as a middleman between advertisers, ad agencies and online publishers. The ad server brings experience to the table that competitors Google and Yahoo have, but Microsoft is only just learning. "DoubleClick would complete the ...
  • Publisher Exodus Could Follow DoubleClick Sale
    Yesterday's Wall Street Journal report that an Internet biggie, most likely Microsoft, may soon acquire the ad-serving technology provider DoubleClick sparked a widespread debate across the Web. The general consensus: "It could mean a lot of things," as Forrester Research analyst Shar VanBoskirk tells ClickZ. For now the frontrunner is Microsoft's MSN, which has struggled mightily since its inception to be as effective as its Web competitors--although Google can swoop in and steal deals late in the game. Double Click is currently owned by Hellman & Friedman, which has offloaded its email business since the private-equity firm ...
  • Photobucket: Powering Social Networks Everywhere
    You may not know it, but Photobucket is one of the Web's most influential sites, says Fortune's David Kirkpatrick. "Unpretentiously, it has built an essential service that didn't need to shout out for attention, the way MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, or other related sites have." It's growth numbers are remarkable: 38 million members, up from just 50,000 at the end of 2003, growing at an average rate of 80,000 new members per day. What is Photobucket? The place where your photos live-the Web site is a kind of aggregator that allows you to link your photos to other ...
  • Google Won't Dominate Video Like Text
    There's no guarantee Google will continue its domination of the Internet. A search leader's success comes down to PageRank and AdWords, a pair of technologies built on text. Searchable, advertizable video represents the next Internet land grab, which means Google is in trouble if it can't translate its text success to moving images. Why? Because with video, Google has to deal with content owners and strike licensing deals and agreements, something that big media firms are reluctant to do with a company clearly so bent on Web-wide domination. The News Corp.-NBC Universal venture, which includes AOL, MSN, Yahoo ...
  • MTV To Move Into Virtual Worlds
    MTV Networks several weeks ago announced that it aims to move full-throttle into virtual worlds, believing community-oriented 3-D platforms represent the future of engaging consumers with its popular brands. Essentially, the Viacom company plans to create communities around its popular TV shows, allowing users to interact with TV personalities and create their own content. MTV execs outlined its strategy during a three-part keynote address on Wednesday at a virtual worlds conference. Two branded virtual worlds, Virtual Laguna Beach and Virtual Hills, are already live, while a third, Virtual Pimp My Ride, is on the way. They were created ...
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