drag2share: There Is One Mainstream Brand That Admits To Advertising On Porn Sites


a woman eating grapes

California-based food delivery service was looking to get the word out about its late-night meal offerings without breaking the bank.

Having accepted $0 in venture capital funding, Eat24 needed to find sites to advertise on that drew large traffic numbers, but wouldn’t charge the company high rates to display its ads.

The answer, of course, was porn.

An industry leader like Pornhub brings in 14.9 million unique visitors monthly, according to the tracking site Quantcast. That’s more than the websites for Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal combined. “A whopping 30% of ALL web traffic is dedicated to adult sites,” the company claims.

The catch is that a brand that advertises on Bloomberg is probably unlikely to put their name beside X-rated content. In fact, Eat24 found that the only companies that advertised on porn sites were other porn sites and “natural male enhancement” sellers.

As a result, Eat24 said the advertising rates were dirt cheap. The company capitalized by pairing sexually suggestive banner ads (“BLT with your BDSM?”) alongside video landing pages. The viewers that saw the ads were, naturally, not dressed appropriately to go out in public, and likely to have worked up an appetite. In short, they were the perfect customers to order delivery from ! the comf ort of their own homes.

The campaign wound up being a whopping success. Eat24 said its adult site banner ads were able to get three times as many impressions as the ads they posted on Facebook, Google, and Twitter combined. And they did it at just 10% of the cost. What’s more, the company said 90% of the visitors the banners generated were coming to Eat24 for the first time.

It remains to be seen whether other non-adult companies will follow Eat24’s lead.

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Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 news No Comments

drag2share: Marissa Mayer’s Latest Plan For Yahoo: Hiring Dozens Of PhDs (YHOO)


marissa mayer

Marissa Mayer’s plan to rebuild Yahoo to its former glory doesn’t begin and end with acqu-hires. The CEO is also hiring dozens of PhDs to restore the company’s research unit, Bloomberg’s Douglas MacMillan and Brad Stone report.

She’s hired 30 PhDs so far this year, with plans to hire another 20, Mayer said.

The research group is led by Chief Scientist Ron Brachman, who joined Yahoo in 2005. He’s a former director for DARPA, the government agency that created the Internet and, he says, his work on artificial intelligence was the foundation for the Apple iPhone’s Siri.

The group, known as Yahoo! Labs, was set up in 2005 with a mission “nothing short of inventing the future of the Internet,” its web site proclaims. 

Under Mayer’s predecessor, Scott Thompson, funding for the group was cut and the group’s leader, Prabhakar Raghavan, left in 2012 to become vice president of engineering at Google.

“The lab is still here — it’s been reduced in size,” Mayer told MacMillan and Stone. She wants to reverse that so she’s investing “heavily to build it back up,” she said.

While the group’s projects aren’t as spectacular as some of Google’s (Google is working on things like self-driving cars, Google Glass, WiFi balloons in outer space), Yahoo! Labs is working on some cool things, too.

These include:

  • Yahoo! Amoeba, which discovers trends in online conversations.
  • Predictalot, where crowds of people can predict things related to sporting events.
  • InStore, which lets you research items in a store with your smartphone by scanning barcodes.

With 50 new PhD-level computer scientists on staff, the quantity, and quality, of Yahoo! Labs projects should grow.

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Thursday, August 1st, 2013 news No Comments

drag2share: RTB May Be Killing Display Ad Revenue and Margins


marissa mayer is not impressed

All Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer wanted to talk about yesterday on her Q2 2013 earnings call was the company’s new product portfolio, Tumblr, and how it hoped to grow its audience.

But all the Wall Street analysts wanted to ask her about was the effect of “programmatic” advertising and RTB, which appear to be the culprit of falling ad prices at Yahoo.

Some called it Yahoo’s “ugly” problem.

Revenues declined 1% to $1.07 billion. She also lowered her year-end revenue guidance slightly. Display revenue (ex-traffic acquisition costs) was $423 million, an 11 percent decrease.

“Programmatic” or “RTB” advertising are ads that are bought and sold in super-fast, automated online auctions. They’re designed to find the best ad inventory at the cheapest available price for buyers — and thus have a tendency to drive down prices for publishers like Yahoo.

In fact, some are pinning the blame for Yahoo’s yet-to-materialize turnaround on RTB.

Two analysts asked Mayer about the effect of RTB on Yahoo’s stagnant ad biz. She said, “We can do better in display and this will be a clear focus for the business,” and later added, “Our display business has felt some negative impact, particularly due to the shifts around programmatic buying. We need to do a much bet! ter job here in order to reverse these trends.”

Analysts appear to regard the RTB trend with horror:

Sameet Sinha of B. Riley & Co. told Bloomberg, “We could have another year of absolutely no growth.”

BGC analyst Colin Gillis told Reuters, “This core business is going to be ugly for quite some time before it gets better.”

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Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 news No Comments

Chromebooks take 20 to 25 percent of sub-$300 laptop market in the US


Snapped up a Chromebook for less than three Benjamins? If so, NPD thinks you’ve made Page and Co.’s devices account for 20 and 25 percent of laptops sold for under $300. Stephen Baker, an NPD analyst, told Bloomberg that the research firm was initially skeptical about the cloud-tied laptops, but Google’s hardware “found a niche in the marketplace.” Mountain View’s mobile PC foray took eight months to reach current sales numbers and NPD claims that based on price, they’re the fastest-growing part of the PC industry. Bloomberg attributes the recent uptick in sales to the education market and early adopters — increased retail availability probably doesn’t hurt, either.

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Friday, July 12th, 2013 digital No Comments

Broadway Suffered Its Worst Attendance In 8 Years


Annie final party scene photo

The lights are looking dim on Broadway, which suffered its worst attendance record in eight years during the 2012-2013 season, according to Bloomberg’s Philip Boroff.

The total box office take was similar to last year’s, but ticket prices were up $6 from last year, to an average of $98 a ticket.

There are a few factors to blame for the dip in attendance:

  1. Hurricane Sandy: The Superstorm shuttered theaters for four days, costing shows more than $8.5 million in lost revenue, according to the AP.
  2. The increase in ticket prices: “There is no goodwill left among theatergoers,” Michael Taustine, treasurer of the Lyceum Theatre, told Bloomberg. “They are resentful and angry at the arrogance of Broadway pricing policies.”
  3. Dark theaters: 13 of Broadway’s 40 theaters are currently dark, an “unusually large” number for the weeks before the Tony awards, according to Bloomberg.

Even stars like Tom Hanks and Bette Midler, who drew big crowds, couldn’t save the season, noted Boroff.

Shows including “Orphans,” ”The Testament of Mary,” ”Hands on a Hardbody,” ”Jekyll & Hyde” and “The Performers” opened and closed quickly, making it hard for sales to recover, noted the AP.


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Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 news No Comments

A Security Company Is Neutering Hundreds of iPads So The Government Can Use Them


A Security Company Is Neutering Hundreds of iPads So The Government Can Use Them Traditionally, Blackberry has been the choice of the majorly security conscious, but the times are changing. iOS has been shaping up to be pretty secure, and has even coaxed some US government agencies to jump ship. Now a security firm in Virgina is “neutering” iPads so G men can use those too.

The report comes from Bloomberg, which says the company with the cyber-snippers is one CACI International Inc. What this “neutering” process—CACI’s own words—actually involves is anyone’s guess, but chances are it has something to do with the wireless capabilities, and maybe the camera. CACI CEO Dan Allen put it this way to Bloomberg: “It’s a neutered iPad. We’re working on how do we effectively brand it.”

According to Allen, any iPads you already see in a government leader’s hands, probably came from CACI or someone they work with. So far no one in the government has made a statement about whether or not Obama’s iPad has gotten the treatment, but it doesn’t seem unlikely. If this really takes off, you could start seeing a lot more iPads in active government service, but only if they’ve lost their fun bits first. [Bloomberg via 9to5Mac]

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Saturday, February 9th, 2013 news No Comments

CHART OF THE DAY: The Chart That Could Get Groupon’s CEO Andrew Mason Fired (GRPN)


When Groupon first arrived on the scene, it was heralded for being the fastest growing company of all time.

There is, of course, a danger to being a fast growing company. It’s hard to predict if the incredible growth is just a fad, or something that can last in the long run.

In Groupon’s case, it’s looking like it was a fad. Bloomberg ran this chart which shows that Groupon’s core couponing business has stopped growing. To grow Groupon’s revenues overall, it’s going into a new line of business — Goods, which is like a traditional ecommerce company.

The collapse of Groupon’s couponing business has led chairman Eric Lefkofsky to consider firing CEO Andrew Mason in favor of finding a new executive who understands the new businesses Groupon will have to attack, says Doug MacMillan at Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

MacMillan says Mason has a few quarters to prove he can turn the company around.

chart of the day, groupon's coupons sale growth over the last six quarters, january 2013

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Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 news No Comments

Netflix wants users to be able to share viewing habits on Facebook, US Senate agrees


Netflix wants users to be able to share viewing habits on Facebook, US Senate agrees

We knew Netflix was big, but big enough to change the law? Apparently so, as an amendment to the Video Privacy Protection Act backed by the streaming service has been cleared by the US Senate. If the alteration gets a final sign-off from Obama himself, it’ll allow Netflix users to easily share their streaming activity on Facebook — something already implemented in regions outside the US. The current law, which makes such sharing tricky, was passed in the late 80’s after a judge saw his video rental history leaked to a newspaper. There wasn’t anything embarrassing in this list, but the episode begat the Act which requires a person’s legal consent every time there’s a request to publish such data. Instead, Netflix is proposing a one-off authorization which streamlines the whole process. We imagine the president’s signature is just a formality, in which case you’ll soon know exactly how many times we’ve watched Step Up 2: The Streets.

Continue reading Netflix wants users to be able to share viewing habits on Facebook, US Senate agrees

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Via: TechCrunch

Source: Bloomberg

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Friday, December 21st, 2012 news No Comments

Groupon Soars Thanks To A Rumor Google Might Buy It (GRPN, GOOG)


Groupon’s stock was up 23% today.

Bloomberg is reporting there’s speculation that Google might take over Groupon.

Two years ago, Google wanted to buy Groupon for $6 billion, but was rejected. Today, the company is worth $3 billion. While growth has slowed, its core business is bigger. Google might think that it could buy Groupon, shutter the underperforming businesses and fix the flaws. 

Or, this could just be chatter. Bloomberg doesn’t really source where the speculation is coming from.

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Friday, December 7th, 2012 news No Comments

Uh Oh! Amazon Researchers Say Pinterest Doesn’t Generate A Lot Of Sales (AMZN)


Zappos Pin Pointing

Zappos Labs, the research arm of the Zappos online apparel site, has been experimenting with Pinterest—and the results are not encouraging.

Will Young, director of Zappos Labs, told Bloomberg that Pinterest users are far more likely to share a purchase than Twitter or Facebook users—but that shared items generate far less revenue than Twitter or Facebook.

This is a big problem for Pinterest, because the whole idea of the site is that it’s supposed to be better at monetizing social activity than Twitter or Facebook.

Young told Bloomberg that Zappos customers were 13 times likelier to share an item they bought with friends on Pinterest than on Twitter, and 8 times likelier than on Facebook.

But a post on Twitter generated far more revenue—$33.66 an order—than Facebook, at $2.08 an order, or Pinterest, at 75 cents an order.

That’s great news for Twitter, which will surely tout these figures as it makes a push for retail advertisers.

But it’s kind of bad news for Pinterest, which recently raised $100 million at a $1.5 billion valuation on the premise that its site—which is all about sharing beautiful images of things to buy—should be good at this kind of social commerce.

It’s not great news for Facebook, either, which has ambitions to make commerce a bigger part of the site than it is today.


A Pi nterest spokesperson whom we alerted to the study promised to look into it. We’ll update if we hear more.

One note: Amazon owns Zappos and is a rival of Rakuten a Japanese e-commerce giant that is also is an investor in Pinterest.

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Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 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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