• Yahoo Acquires Right Media
    Not to be outdone by Google, Yahoo this morning announced its purchase of Right Media, the provider of an online advertising exchange containing more than 1,000 publishers. Yahoo already owned a 20 percent stake in the company; today it purchased the rest for $680 million in cash and stock. Google, in announcing its intention to acquire DoubleClick, staked its claim to move into the high-stakes territory of graphical ad-serving, but Yahoo's new purchase is different. Whereas DoubleClick makes most of its money selling expensive ads to publishers of premium content, Right Media provides an open ad exchange for ...
  • Viral Brand Marketing Fuels MySpace Ad Mix
    Viral branded marketing is the new way to get noticed on MySpace and other social networks, according to Marketing Evolution, whose report stressed the benefits of embedded interactive marketing programs, also called "widgets," as being more effective than TV advertising. Why? Embedded marketing messages require user action. Users post them to their pages, and friends can add them, too. This is engaging, "pull" advertising. What kinds of programs are we talking about? Branded clips (movies, video-game trailers) wallpaper, even branded user-generated video. MySpace digital chief Peter Levinsohn says the success of these "widgets" has helped turn the tables ...
  • Sony's PSP Lags In Marketplace
    Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Portable (PSP) could have been a serious contender in the portable media device market. Instead, the device has underachieved, just like its PlayStation 3. Indeed, Sony is beginning to look a lot like the Sega of old, which never managed to produce enough games that matched quality of its hardware. The end of Sega's days as a videogame giant came down to the company's inability to secure as much third-party support as its competitors. Third-party support comes as much from traditional media companies as videogame publishers. Apple, which once had its own problems with third-party ...
  • Google Aims To Make State Info Web-Accessible
    Google just announced it would partner with the state governments of Arizona, California, Utah and Virginia to make it easier to find public information on their Web sites. The search giant plans to make state information more accessible by taking advantage of "sitemap protocol," which lets search crawlers easily find Web pages in Google's search results. It's a first step by Google at taking government information that should be public out of the shadows. "A lot of state agencies view their Web sites as billboards as opposed to dynamic means of two-way communications between governments and their citizens," ...
  • Search Marketers: Beware Google Web History
    Search marketing guru Danny Sullivan says the implications of GoogleClick are small potatoes compared to Web History, a new feature from Google that enables users of the Google Toolbar to see a log of all the Web pages they've ever visited. That Web history, he says, will influence how pages rank in the search results users see on the increasingly personalized Google.com. Millions have the Google Toolbar installed. It already includes a PageRank meter that rates a site's popularity from 0-10, reporting that info back to Google. Until last week, Sullivan says that feature was switched off, but now ...
  • Amid Weak PS3 Sales, SCEA Chief Steps Down
    It appears the disappointing PlayStation 3 has claimed its first executive victim inside Sony. Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Ken Kutaragi announced his decision to step down Thursday. His departure wasn't a huge surprise, as Kutaragi hinted the PS3 would be his last big project for the consumer electronics giant months ago. "I am happy to graduate from Sony Computer Entertainment after introducing four platforms to the PlayStation family," Kutaragi said in a statement. Indeed, Kutaragi is one of the most well-respected figures in the history of video games, a market whose growth he contributed to greatly, especially with the ...
  • Google Is Most-Visited Web Publisher
    Google continues to blow by its main competitors in just about every area in which they compete. ComScore Inc. on Wednesday said the Web giant had surpassed Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo! Inc. as the Web's most-visited site, attracting 528 million visitors in March, squeaking by No. 2 Microsoft, with 527 million. Yahoo, the leader in February, was third with 476.3 million. The November acquisition of YouTube has had a lot to do with Google's growing user-base, but comScore also attributes the gain to Google's steadily growing share of the search market-now just under 50%. Meanwhile, products like Gmail and ...
  • YouTube Goes With Pre- And Post Rolls
    So the rumors are true: YouTube, which has been frantically searching for a way to court big advertisers and is set to roll out a series of new products for advertisers this summer, which are likely to include pre-, post- and mid-roll video spots. Suzie Reider, YouTube's head of advertising, said, "We're looking at executions like a very quick little intro preceding a video, then the video, then a commercial execution on the backside of the content." Reider wouldn't elaborate on the company's plans, though ad formats would vary by video and content provider. It looks like YouTube buys ...
  • Strong Quarter For Microsoft Belies Mixed Online Results
    It was the usual story in the online ad department for Microsoft Corp. during the first three months of the year: Modest growth compared to the company's core software business. Revenue from Online Services, which includes Live Search, Web portal MSN, and its ad management system, adCenter, grew 11% from a year ago, while overall revenue growth was nearly triple that, at 32%. The online division's increases came at the expense of a $200 million operating loss--considerably higher than last year's loss of $24 million. This was due to increased investment in the division. On a more positive note, ...
  • Mashups, Wikis Let Consumers Follow the Money
    Mashups and wiki-based programs are making it easier for everyday consumers to keep an eye on the flow of special-interest money in Washington. Beware politicians; custom data mashups allow the layman to cross-reference public databases containing information about public spending and lobbying dollars to votes cast in Congress. For example, MapLight.org, a nonpartisan Web site tracking California legislature, used these tools to show how the logging industry, which opposed a bill in California that would have stopped wood-cutting in certain forest areas, gave nearly twice as much money to politicians as environmental groups. Guess who won? Yep. Next ...
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