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In the wake of the Great Recession of 2008, Wall Street's reputation took a big hit, but the online advertising market could soon find itself functioning a lot like a Wall Street trading desk.
It's official: Yahoo has purchased popular blogging platform Tumblr for more than a billion dollars - $1.1bn to be exact.
The internet's latest nine-figure acquisition is probably one most industry observers wouldn't have predicted.
After all, despite that an ex-Googler, Marissa Mayer, is at Yahoo's helm, there were few prior indicators that she was looking to make a billion dollar purchase.
And if there had been, Tumblr, while incredibly popular, doesn't seem like the company that would have made it to the top of the list as Yahoo's track record with acquisitions of user generated content startups is not all that impressive.
From Geocities to Flickr, Yahoo has proven to be a master of reverse alchemy in the space, repeatedly finding ways to turn gold to lead.
Real-time bidding (RTB) may be a source of concern and confusion for both media buyers and sellers, but that isn't stopping adoption of RTBs.
According to a report published this week by sell-side platform Index Platform, the number of RTB impressions sold via its platform jumped nearly 30% in the first and second quarters of the year. What's more: growth was driven by both major advertisers, which accounted for 57% of all spend in Q2, and local advertisers, which increased their spend by nearly 50% quarter-over-quarter.
For many media buyers, the more prominent the ad, the better the ad.
Case in point: earlier this year, GM pulled its paid campaigns on Facebook in a very public way prior to the social network's highly-anticipated IPO.
The back story: Facebook had rebuffed GM's demand for bigger, bolder ads.
The benefits of real-time bidding (RTB) seem obvious, but as a percentage of the display advertising market, RTB's growth has lagged many observers' expectations.
So what gives?
According to a study (PDF) conducted by Advertiser Perceptions and released this week by Casale Media, approximately half of media buyers and sellers are already participating in the RTB ecosystem, and significant growth is expected over the next year, but both sides still have a number of concerns that are holding RTBs back.
The internet has arguably been the most exciting new development for advertisers in the past 50 years, but that doesn't mean that online advertising is without its problems.
Arguably, one of the biggest problems is a misalignment of the interests of media buyers and media sellers, with the latter often not appearing to care much about the value the former receives.
With questions about the global economy weighing heavily on the minds of advertising executives, companies are increasingly taking a cautious approach to the ad deals they're making for 2012.
According to Reuters' Yinka Adegoke, executives who attended the Reuters Global Media summit last week are citing the crisis in the Eurozone and the political situation in the United States as reasons for shortening up advertising agreements and other partnerships.
Last week, I wrote about popular user-generated news site Reddit, which, despite being owned by Conde Nast, finds itself having money problems.
To solve them, at least temporarily, it asked for donations. And it got plenty of them -- approximately 6,000. Calling the fundraising campaign a "triumph," a member of Reddit's team also wrote, "It's given everyone involved with reddit a good kick in the pants right when we needed it."
When major advertisers and agencies are looking to buy media online, they typically turn to companies like comScore and Nielsen for audience measurement data. That makes these companies extremely important to publishers.
Unfortunately, smaller publishers and startups in most cases simply can't afford to jump in bed with the comScores and Nielsens of the world. That has created opportunity for upstart competitors like Quantcast and Compete, which are aiming to away at their positions in the market.
The iPad hype is in full swing. Anybody who checks Techmeme on a daily basis, for instance, will be intimately familiar with the latest iPad news and rumors.
While initial analyst indications are that the iPad is going to rock and roll, it's still too early to say if it will truly live up to the hype long-term. But that doesn't mean it's too early to declare that it has done something remarkable because that it has. What has it done? Inspired stodgy old industries.
Thanks to the internet and social media, it's never been easier for companies to reach out to consumers. Companies like Starbucks and Dell, for instance, have set up crowdsourcing websites through which consumers can share ideas that may help them improve their products and services.
Insurance company Allstate is getting into the act too. But it doesn't want ideas from consumers. Instead, it's reaching out to a different group: media sellers.
Less than a year ago, AOL acquired Bebo for $850m in cash in what is today still one of only a handful of major Web 2.0 acquisitions.
Our resident skeptic, Drama 2.0, criticized the deal and called the suggestion that AOL may have overpaid for the popular social network the "understatement of the year".