The Year That Was: Weds Signal

Last year’s Super Bowl streamed live on

In today’s Signal: The year-end lists are nigh; Fred Wilson on generating ad revenue online; programmatic buying is getting a bad rap; Yahoo plans Google-inspired ad sales efforts; the sharing race between branded content and editorial content; online advertisers are ready for some football; and more.

To the links …

The Year in Tech (The Atlantic) A good overview from one of the sharper observers of what’s up in our industry.

This Year on Twitter (Twitter Blog) Twitter takes a look back at the Tweets of 2012 and uses both data and editorial signals to showcase some of the best moments and conversations around several themes. Plus, whether you choose to explore and discover the best of Twitter via the web or mobile, the company has made sure that you’ll have the same immersive experience.

MBA Mondays: Revenue Models — Advertising (AVC) While it’s true that the vast majority of consumer web apps have been and continue to be monetized with advertising, it’s less true for mobile apps. But that appears to be changing. Fred Wilson, VC and principal of Union Square Ventures, rounds up some of the many ways to generate advertising revenue online.

How Publishers Can Win at Programmatic (Digiday) Programmatic buying is getting a bad rap. If you listen to publishers, it’s responsible for an oversupply of cheap impressions, low ad quality, channel conflict and declining CPMs. But Raj Chauhan, president of Adslot North America, posits that this negativity “overshadows the significant efficiencies that the shift to a more automated model for buying display brings to the table. While it’s certainly not perfect, programmatic buying makes buying and selling ads more cost-efficient and scalable.”

In “Seismic Shift,” New COO De Castro Planning to Move Yahoo Ad Sales to Category Model (Backed Up by “Marissa Halo”) (ATD) Yahoo COO Henrique De Castro’s plan to move the company’s sales organization to a “category” model means its sales reps will sell all of Yahoo’s ad products, as well as its search offerings, in a vertical process organized around advertiser segments, such as automotive, entertainment and packaged goods. This is how Google, where both De Castro and CEO Marissa Mayer recently worked, conducts its ad sales efforts.

Why Branded Content is Beating Editorial (Digiday) Lydia Leavitt, an editor and content strategist at JWT New York, takes a look a Pulse, an RSS-aggregation app that suggests brands aren’t only creating content that increases sales, but also delivering subject matter that’s compelling enough to beat editorial in sharing. Pulse CEO Askshay Kothari reveals that users are 25 percent more likely to share a piece of branded content (aka ads) than a traditional news story through the app. Why? “Branded editorial is doing so well on Pulse because it’s much less PR-driven than its non-branded counterparts,” says Leavitt, “and, therefore, more engaging.”

CBS: Ads in Online Super Bowl Nearly Sold Out (Ad Age) NBC broke ground last year with its live-streaming of the Super Bowl, the first time the game was transmitted by a TV network in non-traditional fashion. This year, CBS is well on its way to cashing in. While Super Bowl TV ads have sold for an average of between $3.7 million and $3.8 million, ad prices for digital inventory around the game are significantly less. Last year, NBC was selling inventory surrounding its live stream for a range that moved between the high six figure and low seven figures.

5 Startups Brands Love (Digiday) Digiday’s Giselle Abramovich speaks to brand executives about which startups they have their eye on, and why.


If it suits your information consumption goals, sign up for Signal’s email newsletter or RSS feed on the Signal home page (upper right box).