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Aug 8 2006
Google and Fox Interactive Ink $900 Million Multi-Year Deal
Google and Fox Interactive signed a three-year and nine-month agreement worth $900 million, assuming certain traffic levels are achieved. As part of the deal, Google will become the exclusive search and text-based ad partner for Fox Interactive properties including MySpace. Google will power search across the properties. A search tool bar, currently in development at Fox Interactive, will be added to MySpace pages and will include Google search.

Google is the No. 1 exit point for MySpace users, therefore an integrated search experience is an important unifying feature. In future iterations of Google�s ad engine, advertisers will be able to target broadly (like search today) or target MySpace specifically through a variety of options. Small and medium-sized businesses will have a choice on how they target. Demographic targeting is a likely scenario, but executives would not comment specifically on this issue. Given the fragmented audience, Google�s mobile targeting initiatives and other monetization projects, a targeting option that includes demographics is an extremely likely if not foregone conclusion. Although it was not discussed and is not part of this deal, it is worth considering demographic targeting in the context of Fox�s broadcast and studio assets. A demographic ad engine that works both online and off would be highly valuable. Google already offers day-part ad targeting.

Fox Interactive was not shy in saying that it was testing other providers, meaning Yahoo! and MSN. Google and Fox arrived at the deal after testing conversion rates from MySpace and backing out what was termed a �conservative revenue per search figure.� Executives from Fox and Google believe that they will exceed the user metrics given the heavy cross usage between the two groups of sites. Google has good experience regarding user search lift resulting from its search application on AOL. Google was monetizing searches much better than other bidders in the test. According to investment analysts and insiders, Google�s relevancy-based ad engine is roughly twice as productive from a revenue standpoint as its nearest competitor, YSM. MSN is new to the ad services market and, assuming it was actually in the running, this says a lot about how far it has come.

Fox will continue to sell graphical ads through its own sales force. As part of this deal, however, Google has the first right of refusal for all remnant ad inventory. This inventory is currently serviced by 17 providers. Google has a stated goal to grow its graphical advertisements, but it�s just as likely text ads are placed in these positions. Video ads are not part of the deal, but conversations around this and other related topics are expected over the course of the agreement. Content sharing and other programming initiatives are also not part of the agreement.

MySpace users are predominantly U.S.-based, to the tune of 90 percent. Ten percent of users are from overseas. Overall, MySpace is adding 250,000 users per day. Recently, MySpace launched in the U.K. and Australia. The service is expected to launch in 12 countries in the next year and a half. It is widely expected that MySpace will pass 100 million profiles this month. The deal covers all geographies with the exception of two. Fox executives declined to say which two markets are not covered due to existing agreements.

According to Fox, this deal represents a 70 percent premium over the MySpace purchase price and pays for about two-thirds of Fox Interactive initiatives. �All the money from the deal is net revenue.� According to Peter Chernin, the company�s president, �We�re playing with the house chips. Whoever said that we couldn�t monetize this, they�ve probably changed their mind.�

This is certainly a big deal stemming from a ton of usage at MySpace. Apparently, the deal came together over a five-day period, consisting of nearly nonstop 24-hour negotiations. Hollywood is prone to hyperbole, but something certainly pushed this deal over the edge. Eric Schmidt suggested it was a Fox Interactive deadline. There are so many media formats and outlets in play these days, however, that it�s more likely this is one of Google�s bets on the interactive convergence between broadcasting, studio entertainment and interactive content. MySpace usage is a convenient and � assuming Google�s models are correct � profitable door to a multi-platform advertising business with Fox as its first big partner. Four years is a long time for Google to push its stated goal of extending its ad network to traditional media.




Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Matt Booth at  01:58 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [2]



Aug 7 2006
Google Distributes MTV Content
Google will start distributing video clips from MTV Networks shows as a source of content and revenues for its video affiliate partners. The deal includes 100 hours of programming, including "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County," "SpongeBob SquarePants" and MTV's Video Music Awards. �The partnership will expand video through Google's advertising network to a variety of sites and is likely to spawn further such deals, making video a far more integral element of online advertising.� In addition, Google will offer consumers the ability to download select shows for $1.99, similar to Apple�s iTunes. (Source: AP)
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Matt Booth at  20:21 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [2]



Aug 7 2006
Alpha Networks Rolling Out Google Talk Wi-Fi Phone
Taiwan-based Alpha Networks is planning to mass produce a Wi-Fi mobile phone that includes Google Talk functionality. According to Alpha Networks CTO Tim Kang, �In addition to its voice functionality, Alpha Networks' first Google Talk-enabled WiFi phone will also support Google's Gmail� and phones will be equiped �with a video communications application.� (Source: DigiTimes)
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Matt Booth at  20:10 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [3]



Aug 7 2006
Colleges Warning Students about Social Networking Sites
New to the college orientation agenda this year are warnings about the consequences of posting on social networking sites. A few colleges across the country have been telling students that employers are starting to check student profiles. In some instances, disciplinary action has been taken and criminal charges have been filed after students have posted incriminating material on their personal profiles. (Source: AP)
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Matt Booth at  20:08 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [2]



Aug 7 2006
Intel Continues to Push WiMax Standard
Intel is in discussions to build a new broadband network with Woosh Wireless in New Zealand. Recently, Intel invested $A37 million in a Sydney-based wireless company called Unwired. Intel�s investments in WiMax networks are part of a larger strategic initiative pushing the wireless broadband standard. Computers that include Intel�s WiMax chipsets hit the market in 2007. (Source: Stuff.co.nz)
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Matt Booth at  20:06 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [2]



Aug 7 2006
Yahoo! and Canaan Invest in India
Yahoo! and Canaan Partners have invested US$8.6 million in BharatMatrimony, a group of India-based wedding, lifestyle and vertical search sites. This is the first investment in India by both Canaan and Yahoo!. Canaan was an original investor in Match.com in 1995. BharatMatrimony was founded in 1997 and had been self-funded before this round. The company reports that it has been responsible for more than 500,000 marriages since its inception. (Sources: ContentSutra, Canaan Partners)

Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Matt Booth at  20:03 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [2]



Aug 4 2006
Multi-Channel Tourist Guide Launches in Portugal
P�ginas Amarelas SA (Yellow Pages) launched a new tourist guide for Portugal in both Portuguese and English. A total of 220,000 copies have been printed of the complimentary guide and distributed to 1,500 distribution outlets. The guide maintains a tourism-related focus and includes maps, tourist locations, restaurants, hotels, car rental and train locations. Telephone numbers and information can also be obtained by calling 707 202 222, by sending a text message to 4090 or from the Internet site. (Source: Algarve News)



Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Matt Booth at  01:09 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [5]



Aug 4 2006
AOL Plans Work Force Reductions
Jonathan Miller informed employees that AOL will eliminate 5,000 of 19,000 positions, or about 25 percent of its workforce. The reductions will take place over the next six months as the company focuses on advertising instead of dial-up subscriptions. A majority of the reductions will come from operations in Europe, where AOL has been in discussions to shed non-core assets. Earlier this week, AOL reported that it had entered negotiations with French telecom company Neuf Cegetel to sell its dial-up business there. Similar discussions are under way in Britain and Germany, where sales will be completed by this fall. A total of 3,000 workers are employed by AOL in those three countries. (Source: Washington Post)
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Matt Booth at  00:48 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [4]





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