exchange

Amazon Launches An Ad Exchange To Rival Facebook And Google (FB, GOOG, AMZN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-launches-an-ad-exchange-to-rival-facebook-and-google-2012-12

Jeff Bezos

Amazon has created a real-time bidding ad exchange, according to Adweek, putting it in a head-to-head battle with Facebook and Google for so called retargeting dollars.

Here’s how it will work: If you’re browsing on Amazon but decide not to buy that DVD of “Star Wars,” Amazon will drop a tracking cookie on your browser. When you go elsewhere in Amazon’s exchange network — which includes Amazon, IMDb, DPReview, and various ad exchanges and publishers that Amazon has a relationship with — you might see an ad pop up offering you another chance to buy “Star Wars.”

It’s pretty much exactly what Facebook has done with its FBX RTB exchange. Some analysts believe that Facebook may be able to generate $1 billion a year from FBX.

The advantage Amazon will have, however, is that it can use its vast trove of shopping data to target users with ads based on their purchase histories. Neither Facebook nor Google (which also does RTB retargeting via DoubleClick) can do that. Adweek says:

The self-serve RTB platform would hypothetically function similarly to Facebook’s Ads Manager in terms of how buyers could target their ads. Sources said Amazon is extremely protective of its data and wary of providing outside access, so like Facebook, Amazon’s platform would enable buyers to create targeting segments such as “men; aged 25-34; in Califo! rnia; in terested in high-definition TVs; who have purchased how-to books and home improvement tools.” But Amazon is not about to hand over its customer’s names or individual buying histories.

The three giants — Amazon, Facebook and Google — now face off in RTB like this:

Amazon: Owns the best database of actual shopping history and purchases. This type of data is like gold for advertisers. Clients have long awaited the day when “the sleeping giant,” as it is known in the ad biz, finally wakes up to advertisers. That day has dawned, it seems.

Facebook: Owns the best database of personal information about consumers. 1 billion users strong, with all their interests and friends, it’s terrifically useful stuff for marketers.

Google: Has traditionally dominated the “purchase intent” sector of the category. When people search for “Star Wars DVD” online, that’s a pretty good indicator they want to buy said movie. Google has been serving ads (and retargeting ads) against such requests for years. But its data on shoppers and their histories has never been as good as Amazon’s or Facebook’s.

Disclosure: The author owns Facebook and Google stock.

SEE ALSO: ANALYST: Facebook Is Generating $1 Billion A Year From Its Ad Exchange

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Monday, December 17th, 2012 news No Comments

Another Super Bearish Facebook Analyst Has Changed His Mind (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/another-super-bearish-facebook-analyst-has-changed-his-mind-2012-11

mark zuckerberg

Facebook has managed to get two bearish analysts to change their mind.

Carlos Kirjner at Bernstein Research and Rich Greenfield at BTIG have both upgraded the stock this morning. We’ve written up Greenfield’s note here, if you want to read it. (In short, he thinks Facebook’s plan to stuff ads in the mobile news feed is going help it beat Q4 estimates.)

As for Kirjner, he’s rating the stock “outperform,” and has a $33 price target.

Here’s why in a nutshell:

We think consensus is underestimating Facebook’s revenue growth potential over the next 12-24 months. We think Facebook is on path to beat consensus revenues over the next 12-24 months, delivering $6,976 million in 2013, 9% higher than consensus’ $6,388 million, and $8,650 million in 2014, or 7% higher than consensus’ $8,078 million. Further monetization of (mobile) Newsfeed inventory will be the main driver of growth, as we believe that for the next 18-24 months Facebook probably can increase the number of ad impressions per user per day with limited chance of seeing material deterioration in user experience. We also believe that at this point and for the near-to-medium term, its revenue growth trajectory will be the main driver of Facebook’s stock performance. In addition to mobile, further monetization of the PC Newsfeed and the positive impact of the Facebook Exchange on right-hand-side column CPMs will help drive growth.

Beyond this, Kirjner believes Facebook’s social advertising initiatives can work:

Social, new businesses opportunities and the platform remain options fo! r furthe r upside for the next two years and beyond. The successful monetization of Newsfeed inventory and introduction of the Facebook Exchange have given Facebook an 18-24 month runway to develop new revenue streams from new formats (e.g., gifts), to work with advertisers and third parties such as Datalogix and Nielsen to improve (online brand) advertising ROI and its measurement, which would enhance its long-term pricing, and to continue pushing adoption of social across the Web with its platform play, based on Facebook Connect and the Open Graph Protocol. In other words, we still think of Facebook as a distinctive display advertising business, but mobile and the exchange make it better and larger, and extend the time horizon Facebook has to realize the potential of new business opportunities and of social advertising.

The bottom line here is that Facebook has shown it’s willing to build a big business, something analysts didn’t think would happen. And now they’re upgrading the stock. They are still cautious about how it all plays out, but overall there is reason to be positive about the stock for the first time since it became publicly traded.

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Monday, November 26th, 2012 news No Comments

Here’s The Staggering Number of Ads Facebook Serves On Its Exchange Every Day (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-size-of-fbx-facebooks-ad-exchange-2012-11

Zuckerberg in Russia

Appnexus, the online ad marketplace intermediary, hosted an annual summit in New York yesterday and disclosed some interesting metrics about the size of its business as it relates to Facebook.

The company is one of let slip that Facebook Exchange — the real-time bidding ad exchange in which advertisers are allowed to match their cookies to a Facebook cookie in order to retarget shoppers inside Facebook — now serves a staggering 7 billion ad impressions daily. According to AdExchanger:

AppNexus is quickly ramping up on the Facebook Exchange, where it is one of approximately 15 real-time bidding partners. It now has exposure to 7 billion daily impressions on FBX, up from zero in July — a large and important new inventory source.

We recently told you that FBX has “quadrupled” the size of the RTB market, and that Facebook believes the total ad exchange opportunity could be as big as $2 billion annually.

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Thursday, November 8th, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook’s New Ad Exchange Has ‘Quadrupled’ The Market; Performs ‘Better Than Google’ (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebooks-new-ad-exchange-has-quadrupled-the-market-performs-better-than-google-2012-11

carolyn everson facebook

It’s been hard to gauge how big Facebook’s new real-time bidding platform for advertisers, Facebook Exchange, has become since it was launched in June, but global sales chief Carolyn Everson let slip just how big it could be in a recent conversation with Adweek and Group M digital chief Rob Norman.

First Norman said he believed FBX had “quadrupled” the size of the available market for advertisers who wanted to place ads based on real-time bidding in exchanges:

We love it. We absolutely love it. Massive, massive, massive increase in the amount of exchange traded media. We think it’s probably quadrupled the market in terms of availability of total impressions.

Then Everson said FBX was performing better than Google’s ad exchange:

So we are very excited about Facebook Exchange. We’re excited about the results that we’ve seen. Our performance so far in the Exchange is doing better than the Google Exchange, and Triggit and others have all spoken up on our behalf.

The caveat here, of course, is that quadrupling the supply of available ad inventory isn’t the same as quadrupling the demand for it. And the performance evidence from the demand-side platform companies who have been placing ads inside FBX, like Triggit, is so far only anecdotal. Those buyers say clients can get 16X ROI inside FBX. (Notably, FBX was not mentioned in Facebook’s recent 10-Q.)

Nonetheless, it’s yet another breadcrumb on the trail toward Facebook’s claim that it is on the way to gathering a new $2 billion ad marketplace.

Disclosure: The author owns Facebook stock.

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Monday, November 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook outlines its ad targeting strategy on one handy page, presents a complex privacy picture

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/01/facebook-outlines-its-ad-targeting-strategy-on-one-handy-page/

Facebook privacy padlockTo say that Facebook has to tread lightly around privacy issues is an understatement, especially with a targeted ad push underway. Rather than navigate that minefield once more, the social network hopes to skip it entirely by posting an overview of how the ad system tracks habits while retaining our anonymity. For the most part, Facebook walks the fine line carefully. Its Facebook Exchange auction system relies on a unique, untraceable browser ID to target ads to specific people without ever getting their identity; both a mechanism targeting ads beyond Facebook and a Datalogix deal to track the ad conversion rate use anonymous e-mail address hashes that keep advertisers happy without making the addresses readable to prying eyes. The initiative sounds like it’s on the right course, although there’s caveats at work. Opting out of any Facebook Exchange ads requires tracking down individual ad providers, which isn’t likely to result in many of us leaving the ad revenue stream. Likewise, those who’d object even to the completely anonymous ad profiling don’t have a say in the matter. With those concerns in mind, it’s doubtful there will be many significant objections in the future — Facebook knows its advertising money train can only keep churning if its members are comfortable enough to come along for the ride.

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Facebook outlines its ad targeting strategy on one handy page, presents a complex privacy picture originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 01 Oct 2012 16:16:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 news No Comments

Google Plans To Kill Its Popular Postini Spam Filtering Service (GOOG, MSFT)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/google-plans-to-kill-its-popular-postini-spam-filtering-service-2012-8

Larry Page

Google will soon be turning off its popular spam filtering and e-mail archiving product, Postini. It will shift Postini users to Google Apps.

At last count, Google had over 26 million Postini users, many of them at enterprises. They use this cloud service to filter e-mail for viruses and spam. Postini currently works with Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes, so Gmail isn’t required.

Starting this fall, Google will be telling customers that they have to switch.

Apps is Google’s cloud office suite that includes email, calendars and documents. Google has integrated Postini’s security features into Apps. Google promises that Postini customers who sign on for Apps will still be able to use it with Exchange and Lotus Notes. Naturally, they’ll also get Gmail thrown into the mix.

If customers don’t want Apps, “your Postini service will terminate at your contract end date,” Google says.

The first set of customers that will be asked to switch are those renewal dates of November 1, 2012. Customers with renewal dates between mid-August and October 31, 2012 will get a chance to keep the service a little while longer, until Google makes the full transition sometime in 2013. Google hasn’t announced exactly when that will happen.

This is a pretty good way to grab enterpris! e custom ers for Google Apps, instead of letting them move to Microsoft’s competing Office 365. Microsoft has vowed to really push Office 365 in the coming months to compete with Google Apps.

Don’t miss: The 20 Most Valuable Enterprise Tech Companies In The World

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Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 news No Comments

The Cost Of Supporting Nokia

Source: https://intelligence.businessinsider.com/welcome

Microsoft is paying Nokia a steep price to push Windows Phone 8.

This chart shows trailing 4 quarter profits for Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices group, which includes smartphones and the Xbox. (Using T4 smooths the profit spikes that happen every holiday season, which is the second quarter of Microsoft’s fiscal year.)

After years of losses, the E&D group was consistently in the black. In the 2010 holiday season (Q2’11) Microsoft introduced Kinect, driving profits even higher.

But a year later, Microsoft began paying Nokia $250 million every quarter for carrying Windows Phone 8. In exchange, Nokia pays Microsoft a license fee (estimated at under $20) for every Windows Phone it sells. (The arrangement between the two has other elements as well, like technology sharing.)

Unfortunately, Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone, the Lumia 900, is selling poorly. So poorly, in fact, that the company just cut its price in half.

So Nokia helped send the E&D back into the red — it’s lost more than $200 million in each of the last two quarters. If Windows Phone sales don’t pick up, E&D will turn into a consistent money loser again.

Microsoft trailing 4 E&D P&L

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Friday, July 20th, 2012 news No Comments

The SEC Is Looking Closely At Groupon, Says Report (GRPN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/uh-oh-the-sec-is-looking-closely-at-groupon-says-report-2012-4


Groupon sad girl

The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into why Groupon revised its first quarterly earnings report as a public company, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Groupon made the revision on Friday after market close, when the company discovered that a higher number of customers than usual returned their coupons unused in January, says the report. The revision increased Groupon’s loss by $22.6 million.

Groupon’s stock plunged almost 17% today.

The Journal reports that the company’s chief accounting officer Joe Del Preto discovered that the number of refunds in January was higher than all of Groupon’s models had predicted.

According to the Journal, Groupon did not have enough money in its reserves to cover the refunds.

The SEC has not launched a formal investigation, says the report. Groupon’s top execs have reportedly examined the situation and are confident that only certain types of coupons are being returned.

So this could all blow over and turn out to be no big deal. But drawing the attention of the SEC is never a good thing. Especially when Groupon had to amend its IPO filing twice after the SEC complained.

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Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

Samsung spinning off LCD business

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/20/samsung-spinning-off-lcd-business/

When the Korea Exchange asked Sammy about rumors of an impending spin-off of its LCD business, the firm said it was a move it was considering. Well, consider it done — today Samsung announced it would be launching Samsung Display on April 1st, 2012 with $6.6 billion in its coffers. The move is still waiting for shareholder approval, but Donggun Park, executive vice president of Samsung’s LCD business, seems optimistic. “The spin-off will allow us to make quicker business decisions and respond to our clients’ needs more swiftly.” This decision comes just months after Sammy agreed to take Sony’s stake in S-LCD, turning the former display partnership into a fully owned subsidiary. Hit the break for the official (machine translated) press release.

Continue reading Samsung spinning off LCD business

Samsung spinning off LCD business originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 20 Feb 2012 01:53:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, February 20th, 2012 news No Comments

My Horrific Experiences With Sony Customer Support

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/my-horrific-experiences-with-sony-customer-support-2012-2


Sony laptopI have a Sony laptop computer. It is less than a year old. It was not cheap. I bought the best components, memory and hardware components options available including 3-year in home support.

A couple of months ago the monitor developed a problem (a line of dead pixels down the entire length of the screen). I knew it was a hardware failure because I run a dual monitor setup and the line did not appear on the second screen.

I ignored that problem because it was relatively minor. However a hard drive failure cannot be ignored. 

Unfortunately I experienced a hard drive failure at the beginning of January and was dead in the water. I could not boot.

Please follow this chain of events (Mac users, please try not to laugh too loudly).

My Sony Support Experience

  1. I called Sony support and told them of my problems. They told me my computer was out of warranty even though it was less than a year old and under standard warranty. I told them I had a 3 year warranty. They told me I they had no record of it but gave me another Sony phone number to call to verify my warranty.
  2. I suggested that rather than me hang up and dial Sony, that Sony should dial Sony and verify my service contract. The technical rep said that was not possible.
  3. I called the service number at Sony the tech rep gave me and that service rep verified my date of purchase as less than a year old. The service rep also gave me my 3-year in-home service contract number.
  4. I called back Sony technical support and gave them my service contract number. The technical rep said they could not find that service contact and would not help me. The tech rep told me to call back the service rep and get the right number.
  5. I called back up the service rep, and I did indeed have the right number. The service rep agreed to call the tech rep and stay on the line to verify the number. Apparently service can call technicians but not vice-versa. Some of these calls took 20 minutes.
  6. The service rep informed the technical rep of my purchase date of the service contract (less than a year old), and that it was for 3-years. At that point the tech rep agreed to help me. The service rep hung up.
  7. The tech rep then took my serial number and other information but said before he could schedule a service call he needed a copy of my receipt. I did not have a copy of my receipt. Given the Sony service rep verified my purchase date and 3 year service contract I failed to understand why I need a written receipt. As you might expect I was quite upset and talking rather loudly at this point.
  8. The service rep said he needed to know whether the computer was to be repaired under the service contract or the 1-year standard warranty. As you might imagine I did not see why any of this mattered as my date of purchase was confirmed by Sony as was my 3-year warranty.
  9. Well this mattered to the technician who demanded a receipt. The technician gave me a Sony website in which I could look up my order and get a receipt. I said “If I can go to a website on Sony and look up my order, why can’t you?”
  10. As you can probably guess from what has transpired so far, the tech rep could not do that. It was now late in the day and I had company over and a backup PC was working but without a lot of programs I frequently use and need. I waited overnight to get the receipt.
  11. The next day I attempted to get a receipt but the website URL the tech rep gave me was invalid. 
  12. Once again I called the service contract rep and that person gave me the right address. I said why don’t you look up my purchase day and get it to the tech but this time the service rep was uncooperative.
  13. I go to the Sony website and find my order. I print out my order and fax it to the tech rep. I call the tech rep number and the tech informs me he has scheduled a service call and someone would call me shortly to arrange a time within three days.
  14. I was suspicious of that claim, so the next day I called up the service rep who indeed verified the tech rep did not schedule a service call. 
  15. The service rep put in the order noting they had received my fax and that everything was in order.
  16. I was told I would get a call within 3 days. I was actually shocked to get a call the next day but the pleasant surprise quickly ended on news they had to order parts and I would get a another call within 3 days when the parts would be ready.
  17. Two days later the parts arrive and I get a call and schedule a time.
  18. The rep brings out another monitor and another hard drive. 
  19. The monitor is bad. It has a line of dead pixels in a different spot. 
  20. The tech rep installs the hard drive and leaves me with a set of install disks.
  21. One might think that the on-site technician might actually load the disks they delivered but one would be wrong. These guys are 100% without a doubt strictly hardware only. They do not load disks. Even ones they hand deliver.
  22. It is late in the evening and once again I had company. The next day I run the setup disks and get an I-O error. I cannot tell what is wrong. 
  23. I call Sony and they suspect another hard drive problem and tell me someone will call me within three days to schedule an appointment.
  24. I am screaming at the top of my lungs at this point as I have had it. The rep agrees to do nothing but schedule another call. I ask for his supervisor and an transferred to a “national customer relations specialist” NCRS.
  25. I ask the NCRS to send me a new computer. He tells me that the computer I have is no longer available. That was a direct lie because in advance (in expectation of lies) I had gone on the Sony website and could order the exact computer I already had. 
  26. I informed the NCRS that the computer was still orderable and he said he did not have the authority to do what I asked. If a national customer relations person does not have that authority, one has to wonder “Do they have ANY authority?”
  27. I asked to be transferred to his superior and was put on hold. His superior (and the NCRS refused to tell me the title of that person) would not take my call but whoever that person was did tell the NCRS that if the next delivery did not work they would pro-rate a refund.
  28. I demanded to talk to the NCRS superior but the NCRS would not comply.
  29. At that point I had had enough. I had been without my computer for 11 days and had loaded trial versions of software I use on another computer to get by, but I was still running in limited mode in a number of ways.
  30. I do an online search for computer repair for my city at 4:30 PM. The first two places did not answer the phone or had a messages they were closed. The owner of a third local repair shop in Barrington Illinois did answer the phone. He was open until 7:00PM and Barrington is only a half hour away.
  31. He agreed to look at my computer. I brought in my computer, the install DVDs Sony gave me, and an external hard drive backup I had of my computer.  He took one look at the install disks and said “this one is bad” (it had a discolored spot on the DVD). He changed the bios on my machine to boot to an external DVD drive and fortunately the external drive was able to read the install disks. It was now going on 8:00PM and the owner had stayed an hour past closing to help me but the configuration was only 70% done.
  32. The owner had to go but the next day when I called in, he had reset my drive to the original Sony state, removed all the Sony bloatware including Norton. He loaded all my personal files from an external hard drive I brought in. Above and beyond the call of duty, he found every ICON on my computer and went out and loaded trial versions of every software program I had.
  33. Now that is service. I had my Microsoft Office Key as well as keys to the other programs I use.  I had no idea how to configure my POP account at SBC on to my Microsoft Exchange account but he did that off the top of his head. By accident, I found someone (a business owner) who not only understands computers but someone who also understands the value of a customer.
  34. Five days later (two over the weekend) Sony did come by and replace my monitor. It might have been done sooner but I was out of town on Friday.

Moral of the Story

  • Have file backups. I did.
  • Don’t count on Sony
  • I have had bad experiences with Dell as well so don’t count on Dell or any other mass producer either.
  • Instead find a local computer shop that understands computers and the value of a customer.
If you live in NW Illinois, the place I found that helped me isBarringtonComputer. The owner is Richard Zatek.

By the way, I left out one interesting detail.

Barrington Computer has the ability to access a computer remotely. Zatek gave me a way to see what was happening remotely to my computer. When I checked on it at midnight (from my backup machine  at home), Zatek was also dialed into my computer and we exchanged messages right on my computer remotely using notepad, at midnight. We could see what each other was typing. That is pretty cool as well as exceptional service.

One good thing came out of this. I am pleased to have found someone who knows computers and also understands the value of a customer. Sony sure doesn’t.

 
Addendum
 
I received many emails regarding this post. Here is one from attorney “BR” who says …

Dear Mish,

I’m a big fan of your site and it is pretty much required reading for me most days. I read your account of your travails with “Big Corporate Customer service” with great empathy. I encountered a very similar experience two years ago getting a burner part replaced on my natural gas hot water heater. It took six weeks, 7 separate “house calls,” at least 15 different phone calls, and nearly being divorced before the problem was rectified. And it was a parts problem for which the company had issued a “recall,” so it wasn’t a unique or unexpected problem.

I’ve become convinced that this type of customer “service” is viewed as being a “feature” and not a “bug.” And it crosses all lines of products and services, but especially those covered by “warranties.” They are actively discouraging you from insisting on your right to the free repairs and other services for which you have already paid when you purchased your warranty. In my judgment it represents a calculated effort by corporate types to maximize the profits they obtain under extended warranty agreements. It really is a form of fraud.

Lesson learned is that while P.C. stands for piece of crap, warranties are worth even less.

Very truly yours,

BR

Addendum Two
 
I received many comments about the poor quality of consumer products. I failed to mention a possible remedy.
 
I asked the store owner if he custom built computers and he said it would not be cost-effective. After all, he still would be using components straight from China.
 
Instead he said, never buy a computer from a normal retail store or through the “consumer division” of a PC maker. Sony only has a a consumer divi! sion. HP and Dell have business divisions.
 
Unfortunately, that may not mean support will be much better, but rather the components will likely be of a higher quality. Large businesses might buy hundreds of computers or more at once. To get repeat business, the computers need to be more durable and have no built-in bloatware (trial software and other garbage).

Addendum Three
 
I received many emails like this from Mac users but here is one from a person at VMC Consulting Corporation with a email address at Microsoft.

Reading your recent “Horrific Experiences” post, I just want to make a friendly suggestion.

Next time you want the best Windows machine money can buy, get a Mac.

No kidding.

The Mac is the best Windows machine you can buy, and the support is fantastic. I don’t know where you live, but if it’s a major city, I bet there’s an Apple store nearby.

You can either use “Boot Camp” and run entirely in Windows, or you can be booted into the Mac OSX, and run Windows inside of Parallels, which is a fantastic Virtualization program.

Cheers,

David


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Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 news No Comments

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