Posts filed under ‘advertising’

Can Google score with in-game ads?

As Google expands its lucrative ad network to new markets, industry watchers increasingly believe the search giant will buy its way into the nascent market for advertising inside video games.

 Click below image for more details.

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Google has reportedly looked at acquiring AdScape Media, a small company, founded in Ontario and now based in San Francisco, that specializes in so-called in-game ads. Google did not return calls seeking comment, and an AdScape spokeswoman declined to comment on the talks.

Though an industry insider who asked to remain anonymous said negotiations had stalled, such an acquisition would allow Google to take on old foe Microsoft, which last year acquired a similar but larger company called Massive. In-game ads, however, are one place where Microsoft would have a rare advertising advantage over Google thanks to thriving sales of its Xbox 360 gaming console and a long list of gaming titles.

“Google would be playing catch-up against some significant entrenched providers,” said Michael Goodman, a program manager at research firm Yankee Group Research. “The biggest challenge for them is they might see themselves closed out of the Xbox as a platform to serve ads to.”

In-game ads may sound like a niche, but it’s a growing one that reaches a choice demographic for advertisers. A recent Nielsen Entertainment study found that men aged 18 to 34 are spending more time playing video games (12.5 hours on average per week) and less time watching television (9.8 hours per week). About 6 million U.S. households have at least one “power gamer,” someone who spends as much as 20 hours per week and $50 per month on games, and there are more than 15 million active players of casual games, which are free ad-supported games such as Tetris or cards, said Michael Cai, director of broadband and gaming for Parks Associates.

“It’s not a pimply faced teenage kid playing video games in the basement anymore. It’s people with a lot of disposable income,” said Jeff Berg, content editor at the Interpublic Emerging Media Lab think tank. “It’s a natural space for Google to move into if they can do it effectively.”

The dollar value of this market isn’t nearly as small as many people would think. Parks Associates predicts that game advertising revenue will grow from $120 million in 2006 to $200 million this year and $300 million in 2008. Yankee Group forecasts in-game ad revenue to reach $732 million by 2010. Buying AdScape wouldn’t get Google a lot of new customers, but it would get the company technology, Goodman said. “Google already has significant relationships with advertisers, but they would have to build up relationships with game publishers,” he said.

“Google is the king of search ads, but they aren’t that dominant in brand advertising.”

–Michael Cai, director, Parks Associates

Over the last 18 months, the search giant has been rapidly moving into new ad markets such as print and radio, using its automated online ad-delivery system to provide a way for advertisers to reach new customers via offline mediums. Google purchased radio advertising provider dMarc Broadcasting for just over $100 million a year ago and has been conducting radio ad delivery tests.

While it’s hard to imagine virtual world games like World of Warcraft being a great advertising vehicle for Coke or Pepsi, plenty of games could be ideal, such as sporting titles.

“For example, we take Nike’s (ads) they’ve used for print or television and implement that straight into the games across our sports titles,” said Justin Townsend, chief executive of in-game advertising firm IGA Worldwide. The ad is delivered over the Internet and can be changed depending on which advertiser has purchased the ad rights, he said. The ads are targeted geographically, so players in Germany, for example, will see a German version of the ad. Because Google’s greatest success has been in contextually targeted ads rather than display ads, it might be better suited serving ads that appear alongside casual games, which are sold over the Web, Cai said.

“The question is whether Google is interested in getting into a new media form–gaming, and whether they are looking beyond search and trying to address a new ad business–display advertising,” he said. “Google is the king of search ads, but they aren’t that dominant in brand advertising.” But is the gaming industry ready for Google’s automated kind of advertising?

“It’s not clear,” said Jonathan Epstein, chief executive of Double Fusion, a competitor to AdScape, IGA and Massive. “It doesn’t mean it can’t get there, but when you look at how markets evolve it’s always the specialists that drive innovation and focus in the market.” Eva Woo, vice president of marketing at AdScape, said her company has a technology that allows advertisers to interact with consumers without interrupting the game, something that could appeal to Google. If a gamer opts in, AdScape’s Real World Virtual World Gateway will deliver messages via SMS or e-mail from the advertiser, Woo said.

When the game detects that a player has reached a certain level in the game or that a player is having problems getting beyond an obstacle in the game, for example, the advertiser could offer hints, rewards or coupons. “We’ve been developing this (advertising) technology for five years,” she said. “We have one patent issued and 15 patents pending.”

A risk for Google, of course, is getting shut out of Microsoft’s growing Xbox market, and the question remains whether gamers will rebel against publishers who allow advertisers into their gaming worlds.

“Male gamers playing core games don’t mind ads if they help make the gaming experience more realistic rather than disrupting their gaming activity,” Cai said.

Copyright ©1995-2007 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved.By Elinor Mills Staff Writer, CNET News.com

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February 10, 2007 at 2:30 am 11 comments

Interview with with Ronen Shilo, CEO of Conduit

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Below is an interview with Ronen Shilo, CEO of Conduit. We hope you find the interview informative and useful. Please visit their website and check it out! http://www.conduit.com/


TechAddress: Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?

Conduit: Conduit is the inventor of the community toolbar concept. Community toolbars are a great new way to engage users and drive loyalty as they put the best of any website directly on the users’ browser. Today’s Web savvy organizations are looking for new ways to connect and engage their users, beyond the boundaries of their Web site.

As an example, Major League Baseball launched a ‘Conduit’ for each team in the league so the fans can stay connected with scores, plays, team information, tickets and breaking news on their favorite team, straight from the browser.

Bottom line, a Conduit community toolbar delivers:

  • More Traffic: Drive higher traffic through unprecedented face time, resulting in an average increase of two extra clicks per user, per day
  • Brand Presence: Conduit allows publishers to put their brand directly on the user’s browser
  • Lower Attrition: Retain customers through engaging content, community chat, contests, and more
  • More Revenue per Customer: Monetizing users beyond the boundaries of the Web site. Drive higher spending with more targeted offers and more relevant services delivered via a ‘Conduit’

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TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?

Conduit: There are several things, but most importantly there are three:

1. Hosted turnkey service approach which eliminates all the challenges of traditional software offerings.

Typical off-the-shelf toolbar building software requires technical resources, constant maintenance staff, and presents issues in regard to user support and security, not to mention their limited component offerings. In the past, these challenges have prevented the majority of smaller websites from building and launching their own branded toolbars.

Conduit dramatically changed the model from traditional software to a hosted, global, turnkey service that is very easy to use, and requires no maintenance or technical skills. This has resulted in Conduit’s community toolbars exploding in less than 18 months to over 5 million users in 112 countries, 125k publishers in 22 languages, and over 30,000 downloads a day. For more details, see our recent milestone news release here.

2. Conduit’s business model is powered by search, which enables us to be completely free to the publisher and yet empower the toolbar with the most required functionality – search.

Conduit monetizes user searches via its Google search partnership, thereby delivering superior user experience despite being a free service for organizations.

3. Conduit supports its customers with a full suite of solutions that walks the user through the entire toolbar creation process:

  • Building (Conduit provides easy to use Toolbar Wizards that make building a snap)
  • Promotion (Pre-made templates for toolbar promotion include banners and download pages)
  • Maintenance (Changes made to the toolbar in the hosted environment are automatically reflected in the toolbar field)
  • Analysis (Reports to help optimize the solution for maximum value to publishers and users)

TechAddress: What are some of the main features?

Conduit: Conduit is free, hosted, extremely easy-to-use, completely customizable, ready in minutes, guaranteed to be secure, and available in 22 languages. The Toolbar Wizard is easy to use tool for any publisher, despite their level of programming expertise.

There are several key features that have contributed to our explosive adoption:

  • Pre-defined components including customizable menus, news ticker, RSS reader, radio, chatroom, NEW video window, email notifier, weather button, and more
  • Open environment that allows publishers to develop their own custom components using standard web development technologies
  • A set of customizable search tools, powered by Google
  • Cross-platform solution enabling publishers to provide instant availability in IE & Firefox
  • Pre-packaged marketing templates for deployment and promotion
  • Analytics and reports for management of the community toolbar
  • Hosted solution enables seamless and dynamic updates of content, components, and updates
  • 24/7 free support for publishers and users via email
  • Fully localized by supporting 22 languages for the toolbar and its peripheral pages

TechAddress: Who is your target customer or audience?

Conduit: Any website with a passionate community of online users can benefit from a Conduit community toolbar. Our range of customers represents every industry including entertainment, event planning, music, gaming, non profits, libraries, business, news portals, forums, real-estate, legal enterprise and more. While we have leading brands such as Greenpeace, Major League Baseball and REMAX, the largest segment of Conduit customers are “Long Tail” publishers that come from a diverse cross section.

TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?

Conduit: Our technology teams are working on exciting product releases that will transform user engagement and communication.

The first is the ability for a publisher to extend their presence beyond the current real estate of the toolbar. With an upcoming version, Conduit will transform toolbars from being a single story house to a skyscraper.

The second will empower a user to benefit from multiple toolbars without sacrificing the browser real-estate typically required, and by eliminating the need of multiple downloads. Users will be able to easily manage and control their toolbar library through this new product.

We are also looking to launch a “smart wizard” that will automatically detect community information and will build it into a community toolbar simply from a website URL. This is part of our commitment to making it easier to build and launch a toolbar.

Stay tuned for these and other exciting announcements coming soon.

TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?

Conduit: We envision Conduit evolving into a global leader in marketing platforms for building user-centric applications that drive engagement and loyalty. To that end, we are focused on forging content and product partnerships to deliver the broadest array of content and components to our publishers. From a product perspective, we are focused on being an innovation leader with breakthrough new features regularly added to the roadmap.

TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?

Conduit: Historically, toolbars were perceived as a search device associated with search companies, and as such they raised the question of “Who needs another toolbar?” In addition many have a bad reputation for opening up users to outside threats from adware, spyware and malware. Conduit community toolbars are strongly associated with the communities they serve (vs. being a search device only) and address a wider cross-section of information needs which goes beyond the simple search function. In addition, Conduit, delivers a safe and secure user experience.

TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?

Conduit: Publisher-focused value creation. If we help our publishers be more successful, then we will be successful. So whether it’s product development, marketing, or support, the company is completely focused on what drives a positive outcome for our publishers. We believe that publishers know what’s best for their users and they want to be able to offer them the very best solutions. Conduit provides them with the full-service solution they need to achieve that. As an example, we worked very hard to secure a partnership with Google, as we wanted to provide the ultimate search experience for our publishers’ end users while still enabling our publisher customers with the ability to embed their own site search into the community toolbar and the search page.

Outside of our dedication to products, our overall guiding principles are fairness and integrity. These are the cornerstones of Conduit. We treat everyone who interacts with the company with highest level of integrity.

TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?

Conduit: Our mission is to democratize the building of connected communities, and to enable traditional Web 1.0 companies to become Web 2.0. We aim to provide every publisher with the solutions they need to connect, engage and build online communities quickly and cost effectively.

In terms of innovation, we are the first, completely free service for building a community toolbar, powered by Search. This is a significant value proposition for the market in general but more importantly, for the long tail of the Internet. Conduit is putting a powerful, free marketing platform, previously only available to large companies, in the hands of organizations of every size and capability. This is revolutionary – we are leveling the playing field and doing it with a free, secure service that is backed by a solid business model.

TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?

Conduit: Conduit is currently fully funded and has no plans to raise additional capital at this time.

TechAddress: If your technology or service is not formally launched yet, when’s the launch date? If you have already launched, when was your launch date?

Conduit: The company was founded in 2005; however, we just recently launched an official marketing campaign in November, 2006. Incredibly, Conduit has grown virally from 0 to 125,000 website publisher customers and 5,000,000 users in less than two years.

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January 31, 2007 at 5:41 pm 18 comments

Right Media Launches RMX Direct – Free Ad Serving For Publishers

Originally posted here.

rmlogo_rm.gif Right Media (www.rightmedia.com), creator of the Right Media Exchange, today launched RMX Direct, a simple solution for managing advertising that allows web publishers to make more money from their sites. During the system’s successful private beta period, 750 publishers set up accounts, and over 11 billion ad impressions were served.

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RMX Direct is geared towards publishers who sell their advertising inventory primarily through ad networks. It allows those networks, as well as select ad networks in the Right Media Exchange, to compete for website inventory on a level playing field in real-time. The system allocates each impression to the highest-paying advertiser automatically, regardless of network affiliation.

“We’ve doubled our effective CPM and revenue within a month,” said Steve Jenkins, president of CheatCodes.com. “It was drastic. We also manage Casale Media, Google Adsense, Tribal Fusion, ValueClick, and Advertising.com through this interface. It’s less work and helps us make much more money.”

“Having a system that can find the best fit for a given ad impression is great for us,” said Mehul Patel, president of Swirve.com. “We’ve noticed great results in our eCPM. Now, we have far less wasted inventory as it all gets allocated to its best fit.”

RMX Direct also includes Media GuardTM, the Right Media Exchange’s ad classification system that protects web publishers and their users from potentially harmful ads.

January 29, 2007 at 2:43 pm 2 comments

Corporate Profile – Mochila

Company: Mochila, Inc.

Company logo: 

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Location: Headquartered in New York, NY

Launch Date:  Founded in 2001

In the company’s own words, what is it?  Founded in 2001 as a publishing automation software company, today Mochila is an online content marketplace for publishers, editors, creators and advertisers. Designed to be first to market, Mochila leverages the power of the Internet to facilitate the acquisition and sale of high quality content that includes articles, photography and soon video and audio.

Mochila‘s executive team and advisors are distinguished media and technology veterans who have observed a shift in the publishing landscape, including huge growth in certain sectors. Last year approximately 16.8 billion words and 1.8 billion photos and graphics were sold over wire services such as the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and Reuters. Combine those numbers with audio and video sales, and the world spent just under $2 billion on syndicated news content last year. This market is expected to grow to $3 billion by 2008. Additionally, niche publications will spend nearly $3 billion on outsourced content. The explosion of blogs, web sites, and online newsletters promises to further fuel market growth.

Responding to the evolution of publishing, Mochila provides a resource for selling and acquiring content in ways that can greatly enhance efficiency and revenue. Founded on principles of trust and integrity, Mochila builds value, protects licensing rights and offers safe access and convenience to all who join.

Mochila is a technological breakthrough for the publishing world, combining rock solid data and license management capabilities with advanced search engine and e-commerce technologies. Created to be first to market, Mochila allows content to be an asset that can be monetized with greatly expanded revenue potential for everyone who participates in the new media marketplace.

Outside quote about company:  “Quigo’s Adsonar platform offers unparalleled control and transparency for pay per click advertisers and content publishers, so it truly is the right fit for Mochila’s transparent content-syndication marketplace,” says Henry Vogel, Quigo’s Chief Revenue Officer.

Features: 
* first global online media marketplace for print, audio, video, and photo content
* offers simple but powerful tools for content sellers to set licensing rules
* offers Mochila AdMatch

Screen Shots:

mochila-site.JPGmochila-site2.JPG

Management/Directors:
Keith McAllister, Chief Executive Officer
Benjamin Chen, Chairman and Chief Technology Officer
Carolyn Bekkedahl, VP Business Development
Jason Oliver, VP Marketing
Tushar Patel, VP of Engineering and Technical Operations
Bill Lindsey, VP Architecture

Relevant Links: 
http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb060403-2.shtml
http://mochila.com/company_press011707.html
http://mochila.com/company_press010107.html
http://mochila.com/company_press100606.html

January 24, 2007 at 1:52 pm Leave a comment

Corporate Profile – Piczo

Company: Piczo, Inc.

Company logo:

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Location: San Francisco, CA

Launch Date: Formed in 2004; formally launched in U.S. in September, 2006

In the company’s own words, what is it? Piczo has created a space that gives teens around the world the freedom and tools to express themselves and connect with friends in a safer social networking environment.

Piczo allows its users to create fully customizable personal websites that do not require any understanding of html code. Users share their life stories with friends by designing their sites with multiple pages featuring photos, graphics, guest books, comment boards, music, and more. Each site can be linked to other friends’ sites and users can interact with them and their friends, and meet new people online.

Since its launch less than two years ago, Piczo has grown to over 10 million monthly unique visitors and 2.5 billion monthly page views solely through the viral efforts of its loyal members. Rave reviews from these users claim that Piczo is unmatched in the control it offers over their sites, ease-of-use, and ‘walled-garden’ approach with no searching for users.

Outside quote about company: “We are attracted to Piczo‘s approach for a safer online environment in the social networking space. The demographic that Piczo has attracted, the younger teen audience, is quickly claiming the web as their own medium. Marketers and media companies covet this demographic and we are pleased to be part of Piczo’s continued growth,” said Paul Matteucci, general partner, U.S. Venture Partners.

Features:
* create your own website and web address
* manage your homepage and page list
* upload pictures and music videos
* create a guestbook, comment board and journal
* it’s free and easy

Screen Shots:

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piczo-site2.JPG

Management/Directors:
Jeremy Verba, CEO
Jim Conning, Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Jeanine LeFlore, Vice President of Products
Michael J. Sherf, Vice President of Technical Operations
Paul Remer, Vice President of Business Development
Peter J. van Pruissen, Vice President of Finance
Geoff Judge, Chief Revenue Officer
Chris Seth, UK Managing Director

Relevant Links:
http://www.piczoinc.com/piczoFunding.html
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2095-2496035.html
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21024303-7582,00.html

http://www.dmwmedia.com/news/2007/01/18/teen-focused-online-social-network-piczo-raises-11-million

January 19, 2007 at 3:18 pm 10 comments

Corporate Profile – Baaima NV, creator of Joost

Company: Baaima NV, creator of Joost™ (formerly The Venice Project)

Company logo:

joost-logo.JPG

Location: Luxembourg-based

Launch Date: Not officially launched

In the company’s own words, what is it? Joost™ is a new way to watch TV, free of the schedules and restrictions that come with traditional television. Combining the best of TV with the best of the internet, Joost™ gives you more control and freedom than ever before – control over what you watch, and freedom to watch it whenever you like. We’re providing a platform for the best television content on the planet – a platform that will bring you the biggest and best shows from the TV studios, as well as the specialist programs created by professionals and enthusiasts. It’s all overlaid with a raft of nifty features that help you find the shows you love, watch and chat with friends, and even create your own TV channels.

Outside quote about company: Greg Sandoval of CNET News says, “Joost‘s nifty technology may be enough to sway the entertainment industry to place a bet on proven winners in Friis and Zennstrom.

A menu allows users to switch channels with a click of a link. Users will also have TiVo-like control of the content and access to any show offered regardless of time of day. They can also can skip ahead or backward within a show.

The Luxembourg-based company will support itself with advertising, specifically Internet ads that behave just like TV commercials.”

Features:
* first global TV distribution platform
* interactive, community-driven environment
* viewable anytime, anywhere with a broadband Internet connection
* broadcast-quality content
* free
* secure

Screen Shots:

joost-site.JPG

joost-site2.JPG

Management/Directors:

Fredrik de Wahl, CEO
Janus Friis, Co-founder
Niklas Zennström, Co-founder
Dirk-Willem van Gulik, CTO

Relevant Links:
http://joost.com/press/2007/01/the-venice-project-code-named-no-more.html
http://blogs.business2.com/business2blog/2007/01/venice_project_.html
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2085227,00.asp
http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/8689/1103/

January 18, 2007 at 1:57 pm 4 comments

Pixsy Launches PixsyPower and PhotoSense

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Pixsy Launches PixsyPower and PhotoSense
Media Search Technology Now Available to all Websites; Unveils Search Engine Ad Unit
San Francisco, CA — Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pixsy Corporation, a next-generation media search platform that powers private label image and video search engines, today announced PixsyPower, a suite of media search tools and widgets for website publishers of all sizes. PixsyPower tools enable website publishers to increase their site traffic by offering unique content and media search functionality to their visitors.

PixsyPower enables bloggers, social networking sites, or any website to run private label photo and video search engines and widgets on their sites by simply signing up for free at PixsyPower.com. Image and video search are the fastest growing search verticals on the web and PixsyPower enables any website publisher to tap into this popular consumer activity within their own site. With three easy steps, Pixsy’s image and video search engine and widgets can be deployed on any website with content customized to the specific topic of their site. The service also provides a set of reporting tools to track visitor activities and search patterns.

“Pixsy’s business model of using media search tools to create search traffic on websites is a unique and effective way of generating new targeted advertising inventory across the web,” said Jack Klues, Chairman, Publicis Groupe Media. “We believe that Pixsy is well positioned to significantly exploit this growing market.”

Pixsy PhotoSense
The PixsyPower service features the new Pixsy PhotoSense tool, allowing publishers to select a category or specific provider and create an advertising unit that can be dropped into their site. This ad unit changes dynamically to deliver fresh and interesting visual content, changing all the time. Whether the topic is news, sports, celebrities or entertainment, PhotoSense enables publishers to customize their images and videos, as well as select their content providers and categories. PhotoSense is available in all major IAB size ad units.

With the new Pixsy PhotoSense Search Widget, website publishers can run a full blown media search engine inside their site. Photo and video searches can be performed and viewed directly inside the widget. For example, a travel website can have a travel photo and video search engine directly inside their site, with photo and video results showing up inside the widget on the site.

PixsyPower is the next breakthrough in the evolution of our media search distribution business,” said Chase Norlin, CEO, Pixsy Corporation. “Media search should be in the hands of all website operators, not just the big search portals.”

About Pixsy
Pixsy Corporation is a next-generation media search platform that powers private label image and video search engines for online publishers. Pixsy has offices in San Francisco, CA and Seattle, WA and was founded by a team of engineers and business leaders hailing from Microsoft, Sony, and ValueClick.

Contact:
Pixsy Corporation
Lauren Karp
415.533.4000
lauren[at]pixsy.com

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January 16, 2007 at 7:47 pm Leave a comment

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