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Microsoft acquires online ad exchange

The recent flurry of consolidation in the online ad space has continued with news that Microsoft is purchasing display ad exchange AdECN.

AdECN operates a virtual marketplace for display advertising, similar to the Right Media exchange acquired by Yahoo! earlier this year. It will also compete with the exchange set to be launched by Google through its purchase of adserving company Doubleclick. 

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Retailers failing to respond to customer opt-ins

Far too many online retailers in the US and UK are failing to send a response to opt-in requests on their websites, according to a retail email study by Silverpop.

Silverpop, which surveyed 100 US and 50 UK retailers, found that a third of retailers don't bother sending confirmation/courtesy emails.

Of those that did, UK firms did better, sending a personalised response 60% of the time, compared to 34% for the US. Yet clearly there's plenty of room for improvement on both sides of the pond.

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BBC Trust meets open source group over iPlayer

The BBC and the Open Source Consortium (OSC) have met to discuss concerns surrounding the iPlayer, which is only compatible with Windows XP.

The OSC was looking for assurances from the BBC that the iPlayer would be made available for users of other platforms. They say that around 25% of internet users would be excluded from using the iPlayer as things stand.

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TradeDoubler acquires paid search firm for £56m

TradeDoubler has today announced the acquisition of The IMW Group, which owns The Search Works, the largest independent search engine marketing company in the UK.

The IMW Group consists of The Search Works and The Technology Works, which provides search management technology. The deal - worth £56m and with a large cash element - will establish TradeDoubler as one of the largest online marketing firms in Europe.

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US newspapers' online audience continues to grow

The online audience for US newspaper groups is continuing to grow, with record numbers of internet users visiting their sites in the second quarter.

Research carried out by Nielsen//NetRatings for the Newspaper Association of America found a monthly average of 59m people visited newspaper sites during the period.

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ComScore alters web metrics

In a similar move to rival web measurement firm Nielsen//NetRatings, comScore has decided to make change to the way it measures web audiences.

comScore will now divide internet audiences into heavy, medium and light users, in an attempt to help advertisers better segment their audiences.

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Judge unimpressed by case against Facebook founder

The judge in the Facebook ownership dispute has given the plaintiffs two months to find some evidence that will persuade him not to throw the case out.

Mark Zuckerberg has been accused of stealing the design and source code for Facebook from a university social network that he worked for as a programmer four years ago.

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Microsoft to serve ads on Digg

Microsoft and Digg have announced a partnership in which Microsoft will serve up display and contextual advertising to the social news site's 17m monthly users.

The three-year exclusive deal will boost Microsoft's efforts to compete with arch-rival Google, which it is replacing as Digg's online ad partner. 

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Joost reaches 1m user mark

P2P internet TV service Joost has been used by more than a million beta testers so far, co-founder Niklas Zennstrom told reporters at a press event in Estonia.

Clearly, the buzz around the online TV platform has helped push the user numbers up to such impressive levels. Zennstrom also said that Joost plans a full launch by the end of the year.

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AdWords - Preferred Bidding and Budget Optimiser or not?

A few months ago, Google released a couple of new alternatives to the 'maximum cost-per-click' bids on Adwords, called Preferred Bidding and Budget Optimiser.

Preferred Bidding allows you to specify how much you'd like to pay for each click on average, and Adwords will adjust your bids accordingly. Budget Optimiser takes your daily budget and tries to generate as many clicks as possible for your money.

But is this really what you want to be doing? Both of these options are set at campaign level, and neither looks at the conversion rate of individual keywords or Adgroups, or indeed the value of a conversion.

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Amazon triples profits

Amazon's second quarter profits have more than tripled thanks to a combination of increased sales and a reduction in technology spending.

The company's share price rose by 21% yesterday in response to the news, with Amazon raising its full year income forecasts.

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Buy.at acquires lead generation provider Lightstate

Affiliate marketing network buy.at has announced its first acquisition, online lead generation provider Lightstate.

Lightstate, founded by entrepreneur Shakil Khan, uses its partnerships with financial sites, comparison sites and portals to collect consumer information. Advertisers can then use this information to advise customers on the products that suit their needs.

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