new york times

drag2share: The Three Main Sources Of Twitter’s ~ $600 Million Revenue


Adam Bain Twitter

Twitter is going public soon, so it’s worth knowing how the micro-blogging site makes money.

It is an advertising-based business. Twitter also sells data. It will generate about $583 million this year. Twitter is expected to generate a little less than $1 billion in 2014, according to eMarketer.

Most of Twitter’s revenue comes from three types of ads, although it plans to have a more robust advertising offering next year.

The New York Times’ Vindu Goel gives a good rundown of those three money-making ad products:

  • Promoted tweets: Advertisers pay to have brief messages show up in users’ stream of Twitter messages. They can use keyword targeting to reach specific users. Advertisers can also use a little bit of demographic targeting, although Twitter doesn’t know as much about its users as Facebook does.  Twitter gets paid when users engage with the promoted tweets (when they favorite, comment on, or retweet the ad).
  • Promoted trends: Twitter lists which topics are being talked about most on its platform. The trends vary by location, so Twitter’s list of topics in the US might not be the same as the list in England, for example. Advertisers can pay to have a topic of their choice listed too. A promoted trend costs roughly $200,000 for a day of exposure on all US Twitt! er accou nts, the New York Times reports.
  • Promoted accounts: If a brand wants more Twitter followers, it can pay to have its account recommended to Twitter users.

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Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 news No Comments

drag2share: Here Is How To See All the Personal Information Marketers Have Collected About You


magnifying glassWant to know how you’re being sold to marketers?

Acxiom, one of the largest brokerages of personal marketing data, just released, which allows you to view all the information it has stored about you in its marketing databases.

Acxiom has information on 700 million consumers worldwide, with some 1,500 data points per person.

The site allows you to see which details dictate the targeted ads that you see every day — whether they’re creepily accurate or way off-base.  Your data profile will include biographical facts (like education level or number of children), homeownership status (including mortgage amount and property size), vehicle details, economic information, shopping categories, and even interests, with an option to learn how each element was sourced. also gives you the option to modify or delete information that’s false.  So if, for example, you’re a single vegan occasionally blasted with deals for family hunting trips, you can fix the database once and for all.

Acxiom, with $1.1 billion in revenue in its 2013 fiscal year, told The New York Times that it created the site to make industry p! ractices more transparent. Still feeling uncomfortable about having so much data mined? You can opt-out of the collection process, but not without this first seeing this warning from the company:

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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 news No Comments

drag2share: Yup, the NYTimes and Twitter Outages Started With Simple Phishing


Yup, the NYTimes and Twitter Outages Started With Simple Phishing

As we strongly suspected earlier, the hackers that briefly took over the Twitter and New York Times domains yesterday didn’t use brute force or fancy hacks to get in. The LATimes reports that the Syrian Electronic Army used phishing emails to get username and password credentials for several employees Melbourne IT, the registrar for both and Be careful what emails you click!

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Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 news No Comments

Hackers Controlled The New York Times By Hacking A Website In Australia



A group claiming to be the Syrian Electronic Army was able to take down the New York Times on Tuesday by hacking into a web site in Australia, The New York Times said in a statement.

Apparently, the group gained control of the Times’ domain name registrar, Melbourne IT. A domain name registrar is a site that sells domain names and controls a domain name server (DNS). DNS is the server that sends you to a web page when you type a URL address into your browser, such as

By hacking into the DNS server, the group could redirect the traffic going to The Syrian Electronic Army also said it hacked Twitter. Twitter reportedly also uses Melbourne IT.

Moral of the story: When it comes to the Internet, it’s a small world

The SEA claims to be loyal to Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, in the civil war going on in the country. The SEA has previously attacked the BBCNational Public Radio, Human Rights Watch, The Onion and the Financial Times.

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Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 news No Comments

The Android Platform Migrates To Low-Cost PCs


Mobile Insights is a daily newsletter from BI Intelligence that collects and delivers the top mobile industry news. It is delivered first thing every morning exclusively to BI Intelligence subscribers.

BII android platform distribution

New Acer $400 PC Will Run Android (CNET)
This should give Microsoft pause: Acer’s new all-in-one PC, named the AIO, will run Android. Intel has dropped hints that more Android-powered low-cost PCs are on the way. Although Android chief Sundar Pichai threw water on the idea of connecting the Android and Chrome operating systems, it makes sense in a multi-device computing world to have the same operating system underpinning mobile-devices and low-powered laptops. Read >

The Average American Spends An Hour Of Quality Time With Their Smartphone (AllThingsD)
That’s according to a new study out by Experian. At least half that time is spent talking and texting. Read >

Apple’s iPhone Sales in India Up 400 Percent (Apple Insider)
It’s starting from a low base, but Apple is now moving 400,000 devices per month thanks to aggressive pricing strategies. However, some observers have penned articles with a contrarian take, saying that in fact, India has become a “dumping ground” for outdated iPhones 4 models. Read >

BII_GG_FunA Fun Take On Privacy In A World With Google Glass (Taptastic)
From pro-privacy haircuts, to portable anonymous lighting, to simply scaring off other Glass wearers with your own pair. A light-hearted take on a serious issue: what will happen to privacy in a world where no one knows whether you’re filming them or not? Read >

Is Silicon Valley An Echo Chamber, Or Can It Make Apps For The Rest Of The World? (The New York Times)
Nick Bilton of The New York Times muses about whether Silicon Valley creates many apps that just aren’t relevant to lifestyles outside of the privileged, engineer-choked world of Northern California. He analyzes success stories like Uber, and an a! pp calle d Twist as he considers this question. Read >

A Handy Infographic Outlining App Global Store Stats (
Interesting to note that Microsoft’s store and the Amazon Appstore, the latter with only 16 million total downloads, are dwarfed by the competition. (See below.)

How Mobile Apps Have Changed the World


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Monday, June 3rd, 2013 digital No Comments

Prepaid Smartphones Are Increasingly Popular In The U.S.


Mobile Insights is a daily newsletter from BI Intelligence that collects and delivers the top mobile industry news. It is delivered first thing every morning exclusively to BI Intelligence subscribers.

iphone 4s angle 400One-Third Of All U.S. Smartphone Sales Were Prepaid In The First Quarter (CNET)
Mobile financing patterns are changing. According to the NPD Group, prepaid smartphones accounted for 32% of all U.S, smartphone sales in the first quarter, up from 21% a year prior. NPD attributes the jump to consumers buying older models of flagship phone models, like the Samsung Galaxy S2 or the iPhone 4S. It may also explain why smartphone penetration is reaccelerating. Read >

How To Break Into Mobile Native Advertising (Mobile Marketer) 
Interviews with executives from Klip, SessionM and Sharethrough on the best ways to get started with mobile native advertising campaigns. The main advice is to design context-sensitive ads that help customers solve problems in their day-to-day lives, and to focus on limited concrete goals at first, like getting users to share content. Read >

Apps Begin To Arrive on Google Glass (New York Times)
CNN, Elle, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Evernote will soon unveil new apps for Google Glass as it begins builds out its developer ecosystem. Path and the New York Times were previously the only apps available. Read >

AT&T CEO: Content Providers Will Subsidize Consumers’ Dat! a (F ierce Wireless)
Carriers are eager to ward off consumer dissatisfaction with data plans. AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson told investors at a J.P. Morgan conference that he expects content providers and app developers to unveil new models that let consumers access their content without egregiously high data bills. “There will be models that emerge where they defray consumer charges by paying it themselves, or by advertising.” Read >

YouTube Is The Largest Source Of Mobile Traffic (Sandvine)
But who will be in the carriers’ crosshairs when the all-you-can-eat data party ends? YouTube accounts for a quarter of North American mobile traffic during peak period, according to Sandvine. Facebook chips in another 10%. Real-time entertainment (i.e., mobile video) accounts for 44% of peak mobile traffic. Read >

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Consumer Spending On iOS Games Passes Dedicated Handheld Games (App Annie)
For the first time, gaming revenue on the iOS app store surpassed gaming-focused handheld devices, like Nintendo DS or Sony PlayStation Portable, further underscoring how smartphones are disrupting markets for devoted devices, such as MP3 players or cheap cameras. Games are the app store’s real success story. Games represent about 40% of downloads and 70 to 80% of consumer spending in both the App Store and Google Play. Read >

iOS And Android Combine For 92 Percent Of First Quarter Smartphone Shipments (IDC)
IDC reported slightly higher smartphone shipments than Gartner for the first quarter: 216 versus 210 million, respectively. Both showed Android opening up a massive lead in platform market share. IDC’s numbers also showed Microsoft’s Windows Phone overtaking BlackBerry as the number three operating systemRead >

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Friday, May 17th, 2013 digital No Comments

Advertisers Will Spend Nearly $10 Billion This Week On A Broken TV Model


leslie moonves

This week, advertisers will sit down with the broadcast TV networks and hash out their “upfront” ad buying deals for the year.

The talks are one of advertising’s huge, dramatic set-pieces. As Ad Age describes it, “possibly as few as 40 people from the networks, agencies and brands will go into backrooms and decide how $9 billion of the $62 billion U.S. TV ad market will be spent next year.”

Networks are expecting, again, to see TV ad spending rise. CBS chief Les Moonves is bullish, and analysts expect the network may get 7-9% price increases. Some believe more than $10 billion will get spent.

Oddly, the networks want those increases even as the viewing audience itself dwindles. Goldman Sachs estimates that 17% of the 18-to-49-year-old demographic simply stopped watching broadcast TV in winter 2012-2013, the New York Times notes.

On its face, this doesn’t make sense: Why would advertisers pay more to get less?

The usual explanation is to do with supply and demand. Although TV’s numbers may be dwindling, it still has a massive audience. And with the fragmentation of the audience across thousands of different online and digital venues, there remain very few vehicles who can reliably deliver eyeballs in the millions, night after night. The supply of big audi! ences is getting smaller, in other words, and thus prices increase.

But there are signs that this won’t last, and that broadcast TV may be facing a crisis. The Times said:

“The networks are getting picked at from every direction,” said Jessica Reif Cohen, the senior media analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “This year was the tipping point,” she said, “when the television ratings really fell apart.”

Put that together with competition from Aereo, which reroutes free, over-the-air broadcast signals onto computers and iPads where people can watch TV without paying for cable. News Corp. has already said it will stop broadcasting Fox TV, and go cable-only, if it cannot extract transmission fees from Aereo. (Most people watch “broadcast” TV on cable or satellite, where stations get fees from subscribers.)

It’s not just Aereo of course. It’s Hulu and YouTube and Netflix and a hundred other alternatives to watching TV.

Think about that: The model is so broken that a major broadcaster has threatened to stop broadcasting in order to save itself.

It begs the question: With declining audiences, and dozens of new ways to watch shows without paying for cable, how long with these $10 billion meetings last?


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Monday, May 13th, 2013 news No Comments

CHART OF THE DAY: The New York Times Paywall Subscription Growth Slows Down (NYT)


The New York Times‘ online subscription business is slowing down. This chart from Quartz tracks growth on a month-over-month basis. As you can see, sequential online subscriber growth is at its lowest point yet.

Chart of the day shows quarter-over-quarter growth in nytimes digital subscription, april 2013

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Friday, April 26th, 2013 news No Comments

A College Dropout Turned Her eBay Page Into The Fastest-Growing Retailer


SophiaSophia Amoruso started selling vintage clothing on her eBay page in 2006.

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Monday, March 25th, 2013 news No Comments

Nielsen ratings expand definition of TV households to include internet-only viewers


The Nielsen Company has monitored TV audiences since 1950, but soon it will expand that definition from solely households with antenna, cable or satellite access, but also those that have dropped those options but still get video over the internet. Reflecting the changing times, the move was first noted by The Hollywood Reporter and confirmed later by company executives to the New York Times and LA Times. Nielsen hinted at changes two years ago when TV ownership dropped for the first time in decades, which may turn around since the new definition includes viewers with internet-connected TVs, and could go further to include viewers with just a tablet or laptop. According to senior VP Pat McDonough, that means views over services like Aereo can be counted, since they still contain advertisements, which is what broadcasters rely on the ratings for, unlike ad-free Netflix or Hulu streams with different ads. Because of that, it seems unlikely the change will boost the numbers of internet darlings like Community or Arrested Development, but we can dream, right?

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Source: The Hollywood Reporter, LA Times, NYT

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Friday, February 22nd, 2013 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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