Yahoo! Exec Levinsohn Seeing Commoditization Of Display; Monetate Gets Millions

Audience Buying Impact

In The New York Times, Randall Stross covers the move towards audience buying and how it has negatively affected Yahoo!’s display ad revenue performance. Towards the end of the article, we hear from Yahoo! sales exec Ross Levinsohn who says that “marketplaces” are on the march and adds “that more of Yahoo’s choicest display ad space was being filled in online ad marketplaces. ‘Commoditization,’ as he called it, ‘has been far more aggressive than most people would have thought.'” according to The NYT. Read more. This is another indication that unsold display inventory in Q2 likely ended up sold through Right Media Exchange auctions or Yahoo!’s own ad network.

Money For Monetate

There are quite a few startups working on serving the eCommerce community and website personalization tech company Monetate ( Q&A) appears to be one that is succeeding if a new round of funding is any indication. The company announced last week that it has landed a $15 million venture financing round led by OpenView Venture Partners. Read more. CEO David Brussin tells TechCrunch that “many of the brands the team is currently working with have added hundreds of millions in revenue, thanks to Monetate cutting the need for businesses to hire specialized teams, as well as decreasing bounce rates and shopping cart abandonment.” Read more.

Ad Network Market Maker

On ClickZ, 24/7 Real Media SVP of Product Nicolle Pangis provides her view (and her company’s) about the following question – “Ad Networks: Middleman or Market Maker?” Middleman!? No, Pangis says, “While some critics may marginalize the ad network as a middleman, it continues to prove itself as a ‘market maker,’ i.e., an intermediary that buys and sells. For example, direct response advertisers still want to buy from ad networks with proprietary technology because of their ability to use their data in a way that offers more value than a demand-side platform.” Read more.

Publisher R&D-ing

Here’s some/more innovation on the publisher side as The New York Times continues to take R&D into its own hands with the public unveiling of Beta 620. See the site. According to PaidContent’s David Kaplan, “The promotion of Beta620 is an acknowledgement that even with the growth of its tablet and mobile versions of the newspaper, the website is still the largest venue for the NYT’s readership. The move also recognizes that in order to get users excited about new features, it has to take a more hands off approach and invite as many ideas as possible.” Read more.

Annual Pivot

AdXpose chairman of the board Matt Hulett explores the various pivots of the company before it was acquired by comScore last week. Of the AdXpose precursor WidgetBucks he says, “WidgetBucks exposed massive amounts of data that publishers and ad networks had never seen before. (…) This being the fourth and final one. (We internally joked that we changed the name every year so that we would win industry awards).” Read more.

The Jobless Future

Jeff Jarvis sees no joy in the most recent U.S. jobs report and writes on his Buzz Machine blog, “When at least a tenth of Americans are out of work, for Wall Street to get momentarily giddy at the creation of 117k jobs is cognitive dissonance at its best. No one can make jobs out of thin air. Jobs will not come back. A few new jobs reappearing won’t fix anything. Our new economy is shrinking because technology leads to efficiency over growth.” Is there any hope other than the online ad ecosystem which can’t fill it’s listings?