Articles of the Day


LinkedIn Debuts B2B Network — Seeking new revenue streams, professional-focused social network LinkedIn today is expected to debut a network catering to business-to-business market researchers. “B2B market research is a $100,000 million dollar industry, and we feel we can become a leading provider of that data,” said Dan Shapero, director of business services for the LinkedIn Research Network. To date, the LinkedIn Research Network has already partnered with six market research firms–including Phoenix Marketing International and OTX–to conduct targeted B2B primary research among its network of some 30 million professionals worldwide. Among the other advantages that LinkedIn claims to have over other data providers is its global reach with over 13 million professionals outside of the United States on the LinkedIn network. The network also purports to provide deeper insights through better targeting by filtering respondents by title, seniority, function, age, country, and company size, among other variables.

Amazon Q3 Profits, Revs Up, But Poor Outlook Sends Shares Down — Although Amazon was able to beat an analysts’ consensus forecast of $0.25 per share earnings, shares were still down as much as 14 percent in after hours trading, which Marketwatch attributed to a poor Q4 outlook. That said, compared to some others, Amazon reported healthy Q3 numbers, as net income grew 48 percent to $118 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, compared with net income of $80 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, last year. Revenue was up 31 percent to $4.26 billion, missing analysts’ estimates of $4.28 billion. Amazon had offered revenue guidance of a range between $4.2 billion and $4.43 billion. Outlook: Q4 net sales are expected to be between $6.0 billion and $7.0 billion, or to grow between 6 percent and 23 percent compared with Q407. For the full year, net sales are expected to range from $18.46 billion and $19.46 billion, or to grow between 24 percent and 31 percent compared with 2007.

Health Content Wars: Microsoft Bests Google With Aetna, Yahoo Beefs Up Through Partnerships — Microsoft continues to line up HealthVault partners: the latest is Connecticut-based health insurer Aetna. Members currently using Aetna’s electronic Personal Health Record (PHR) feature will be able to transfer those records to HealthVault next month. Aetna is the first benefits provider to make use of Microsoft’s platform. Microsoft recently said that a number of health institutions want to tap both HealthVault and rival Google Health, but the Aetna partnership may be the first sign of a slight advantage over Google. While a number of pharmacy benefits providers have partnered with Google Health, we’ll see how long it takes before a major health insurer does the same.

Google Upgrades Analytics Functions — Google unveiled a major upgrade Wednesday to Google Analytics. It includes new services–such as custom reporting, advanced segmentation, API, visualization tool, integration into AdSense–and updated user interface and management interface. Until now these features had been “extremely expensive,” said Brett Crosby, senior manager of Google Analytics, suggesting companies spend millions of dollars annually for similar functions. “We took something expensive and difficult, and made it free and easy to use.

Olympics Pump Baidu Q3 Profits Up 91 Percent — Boosted by increased usage during the Beijing Olympics, Chinese search engine Baidu’s Q3 profits came in at $51.2 million (347.9 million yuan), or $1.47 per share, up 91 percent from last year’s $24.2 million (181.7 million yuan). Revenues increased by 85 percent, to $135.4 million (919.1 million yuan), from $66.3 million (496.5 million yuan) in Q307. The company beat estimates (via WSJ) although just barely for revenue; analysts polled by Thomson Reuters (NASDAQ: TRIN) expected earnings of $1.28 per share on revenue of $135 million. The engine was also able to attract more advertisers—and get them to spend more—than in previous quarters. Baidu (NSDQ: BIDU) had 194,000 customers in Q3, up 7 percent from Q2, and up almost 36 percent year-over-year. Average revenue per customer came in at 4,700 yuan ($692), up 6.8 percent from Q2 and up 34 percent year-over-year.

Thomson Reuters Plans ‘Relentless’ Cost Cutting In Downturn, Still Optimistic — Thomson Reuters has promised to “relentlessly” cut costs as the global economy begins to bite its clients’ businesses and, with them, its own. Devin Wenig, CEO of the markets division that includes Reuters Media and Reuters.com, yesterday told staff, in a frank internal memo obtained by paidContent:UK: “Many of our big customers are struggling and there is talk of a global recession. We are in a period of unprecedented change that seems to be unfolding in real time… The changes we are witnessing are global and deep and this is very different to a cyclical downturn.”

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