Updated: Microsoft Extends Advertising Reach by Partnering with YuMe

UPDATE: YuMe tells us that the deal is a partnership, not an acquisition.

If the race between the Soviet Union and the United States to get the first man in space was coined “the Space Race,” perhaps we should call Google and Microsoft’s race to plaster the digital frontier with ads “the AdSpace Race.”

This week, Microsoft purchased YuMe, the largest provider of online video ads on the web. YuMe represents more than 500 million streams each month and reaches more than 68% of the total US online population (more than 120M uniques). YuMe will now offer advertisers MSN inventory and was also selected as the video ad platform to serve and manage all of Microsoft’s unsold and excess video inventory.

Lack of Quality TV Pushing Consumers to Online Entertainment

Here’s a shocker–the majority of shows on TV are boring and cable is expensive.

It’s no wonder then that consumption of online video has gone up significantly as less and less people watch TV.  Ipsos MediaCT conducted a study involving 1,102 early adopters who currently stream and download video online. From February 2007 to February 2008, video consumption from television went down 7 percent in just one year among this group.  Video consumption online went up 72% in the same time period.

What is surprising about this study?  The phenomenon of turning online for entertainment is not isolated or driven by a few select demographic groups, but rather is relatively consistent across all age groups and genders.

Social Networking on Your Phone? Not So Much Now, but Soon

By Michelle Greer

There is nothing more annoying than trying to browse the web on a tiny mobile phone screen. Viewing one page on the web is hard enough. Conducting searches, updating web content, or watching a YouTube clip on a run-of-the-mill cell phone is nothing more than a painful experience.

It’s no surprise then that social networking is not very popular on mobile phones. According to a a survey conducted by Local Mobile Search, only 6% of the 1,022 respondents to a survey on the topic have actually used their mobile phones for social networking. However, 30% of respondents said they were interested in the idea of using their cell phones this way. 10% showed a “keen interest” in mobile social networking.

Watch and Be Watched: Online Advertisers Plan to Use Behavioral Targeting

By Michelle Greer

The idea of ads somehow understanding our lifestyles and behavioral patterns sounds kind of creepy at first thought. But according to a survey done by SEMPO, many search engine marketers are all about it.

The survey found that 57% of online advertisers polled were willing to spend more on demographic targeting, such as age and gender. Advertisers, on average, would pay 11% more for both behavioral and demographic targeting. While advertiser interest in behavioral targeting is very strong, actual investment is still low, according to the survey respondents.

How does behavioral targeting work? Ads will track past search behavior in order to deliver the most relevant ads possible. Charter Communications, one of the nation’s largest ISPs, has already planned for a pilot program to gather search behavior to share with ad networks. This program is set to be released next month.

Marketers; Are You Charging Your Clients Enough?

By Michelle Greer.

You have broken down creating keywords and negative keywords to a science. You have your clients running a full throttle social media campaign, complete with Facebook group, Twitter followers, blog, et al. They are now enjoying more exposure and tangible results than they ever did before. If you don’t know how to properly sell this value to your clients, you could be losing money and not even know it.

RainToday, a service based marketing firm, surveyed 343 marketing, advertising and PR professionals on their thoughts of pricing.

What was the scariest part of their jobs, according to the survey?

  • Uncertainty about what price a particular client will accept (45% rated as at least “extremely/very challenging”)
  • Pressure not to leave money on the table (41% rated as at least “extremely/very challenging”)

Write Newsletters Even You’d Want to Read

By Michelle Greer.

It’s official. As much as people want to pile on the social media consulting gravy train to bring in the big theoretical bucks, even Biz Stone at Twitter sends email newsletters. Apparently, the guys at Twitter have cool news they want you to hear that requires more than 140 characters.

How can marketers actually send emails that people want to read, according to a study done by eROI?

  • Put out something people can use. Of those who responded to the study, only 29% offer access to preferred content, 24% offer discounts/coupons, and only 22% offer some kind of contest.
  • Don’t be a jerk. Only 30% of respondents to the study are offering any opt-in options.

Interactive Classified and Verticals to Grow 376% in Four Years

By Michelle Greer.

Apparently, some online advertisers are realizing that having ads on the 60th page of a Google keyword search isn’t exactly fruitful.

According to a study done by the Kelsey Group, the U.S. interactive classified and vertical share of online advertising will grow from 18 percent in 2007 to 24 percent by 2012. Revenues for interactive classifieds and verticals will grow from US$3.9 billion to US$14.7 billion during the same forecast period, representing a 30.5 percent compound annual growth rate.

What are other key points brought out in the Kelsey Group’s Research?

U.S. online classifieds will grow from US$3.9 billion to US$9.1 billion. Online verticals, such as home services, home and garden, health care, legal and auto repair, will grow from US$100 million to US$5.6 billion.