Articles of the Day


AOL Hands Off Video Duties To Brightcove — After years of handling video content management internally, AOL is expected to announce today that it is bringing in Brightcove to take over those duties. The transition, expected to be completed by early next year, will leave the thriving online video platform with control over AOL’s video content management, publishing, and playback duties.

NYTimes Partners With Brightcove For Video — NYTimes.com late last week relaunched its video platform with a high-definition, wide-screen format, redesigned video library and individual playback pages for each video. The Times’ new video platform rests on Brightcove’s online video technology platform, Brightcove 3–which is designed to help the Times reach new audiences through SEO, and syndication, and improve streaming experiences. “In layman’s terms, Brightcove’s technology brings more stability and flexibility,” said Nicholas Ascheim, vice president of product management at NYTimes.com. “What you want is for a user to able to click play and the video plays, which is harder than you think.” Brightcove’s technology also introduces new advertising inventory and opportunities for brand marketing, according to Ascheim.

Online Retail Traffic Declines — U.S. traffic to retail Web sites has fallen for eight straight weeks as of Oct. 25, marking the first such decline since June 2007, according to a new study by Hitwise. Visits to retail sites dropped 4% in September compared to an increase of 14% from June through August. Hitwise said the fall-off reflects consumers’ cutting back on spending as a result of the current economic climate. “These declines have strong implications for the upcoming online holiday season as well as offline sales,” said Heather Dougherty, research director at Hitwise. “Everyone is aware of the role that the Internet plays to influence offline sales through research, so this slowdown may indicate a further ripple effect in sales in retail locations.”

Three Bidders Left For Reed Business; Former Publisher of WSJ Involved In One Group — We noted earlier today that the Reed Business Information auction is being sweetened again, with parent Reed Elsevier (NYSE: RUK) planning to to offer a bigger vendor loan to finance the struggling sell-off. Now we have learned that there are three parties left in the auction, and interestingly, one group is working with the former Publisher of the Wall Street Journal Gordon Crovitz. Crovitz is working with the consortium of Apollo Management, the PE firm, and Strauss Zelnick’s PE firm Zelnick Media. The other two parties left in the auction are Bain Capital (which has taken on Helen Alexander, the former CEO of The Economist Group as an advisor on the deal) and the group led by TPG and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners. As has been reported before, Reed had been offering vendor financing from its own coffers to $330 million, besides helping bring in other banks for staple financing, and now it may pony up more its own money.

Mansueto’s Koten: Breaking News Doesn’t Bring In Ad Dollars, Aggregation Does — When Fast Company and Inc. publisher Mansueto Ventures laid off 20 staffers, mostly on the online side of the business, earlier this month, it seemed like a curious move. While the magazine side of business has been healthy, Mansueto had spent a much of the past year building up the digital side, including high-profile hires like Robert Scoble, starting Fast Company TV, and creating a social media initiative around Fast Company as well. So why defenestrate a chunk of the online side? In a Q&A with Forbes.com, Mansueto CEO John Koten elaborates on the company’s rationale behind the cuts, which he says was to tear down the walls between the digital and print sides.

ValueClick COO Yovanno Jumps To Widget Analytics Firm Gigya As CEO — Widget distribution firm Gigya has named ValueClick (NSDQ: VCLK) COO David Yovanno CEO, Venturebeat reported. Yovanno told Venturebeat that after nine years at ValueClick, it was simply time to move on. ValueClick has been struggling over the past year. Back in February, ValueClick settled a suit brought by the Federal Trade Commission that accused the company of using fraudulent tactics for online lead gen activities. More recently, that company has been hit by the downward trajectory of the display business. Aside from helping preside over that, Yovanno also managed ValueClick’s comparison shopping businesses and oversaw the company’s acquisition of 14 firms. News of Yovanno’s departure comes just ahead of ValueClick’s Q3 earnings report this Wednesday.

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