Articles of the Day


In Followup To TNS Takeover, WPP And Nielsen Trade Research Assets — UK ad-holding company WPP Group, fresh off its takeover of audience researcher
TNS, has sold its 50 percent stake in TV researcher AGB Nielsen Media
Research to Nielsen. In return, Nielsen will transfer to WPP the assets of
ad-pricing researcher SRDS and health-care media-planning data unit
PERQ/HCI. Nielsen will also give over its 11 percent share in several
subsidiaries belonging to Brazilian media research firm IBOPE Group. WPP
already holds a 31 percent stake in IBOPE. These assets will be added to
The Kantar Group, WPP’s information, insight and consultancy division. For
the past year, WPP has been ramping up its investments in emerging markets
like Brazil, so aside from unloading its stake in a TV researcher it
doesn’t need after acquiring TNS, the move fits with WPP’s interest in
adding assets in Latin America.

Facebook Triples Mobile Traffic — Facebook has tripled its mobile audience
to 15 million in the last year, according to a recent post on the company
blog. The m.facebook.com site allows users to receive notifications or
update their status with text messages, as well as access applications for
devices such as the Treo, BlackBerry and iPhone. Julie Ask, a
JupiterResearch analyst who covers the wireless space, called Facebook’s 15
million mobile users “a big milestone,” in a blog post. “I think this
number will only continue to grow and everyone in the ecosystem will
benefit.”

ComScore: Everyday Health Is Top Health Site In October — The Everyday
Health Network became the largest health site in October following its
merger with the Revolution Health Network last month. Everyday Health had
25.7 million unique visitors, topping longtime category leader WebMD, which
drew 19.6 million, according to comScore. AOL Health was a distant third,
with 10.4 million. Waterfront Media’s Everyday Health and Revolution
Health–started by former AOL Chairman and CEO Steve Case–joined forces in
a deal valued at $300 million with the expressed aim of toppling WebMD as
the No. 1 online health property.

Will Local Online Slow in 2009? — Flashy formats draw more attention, but
still lag in dollars spent. Local online ad spending growth will reach 7.8%
in 2009, down from 47% in 2008, according to a November 2008 estimate by
Borrell Associates. The company said projections of double- and
triple-digit increases in local media companies’ 2009 interactive budgets
would be tough to meet, and that banner ads would be particularly hard hit.
An October 2008 projection by ThinkPanmure also sees slowed growth for
local online ad spending. The company estimated that growth would slip to
11% in 2009—still double digits—down from 27% in 2008.

Google Unveils Video App For Gmail — Just in time for the recession,
Google on Tuesday unveiled a free browser plug-in that allows Gmail users
to conduct voice and video chat with other Gmail users. The plug-in
requires an Intel-based computer running either Mac OS X or Windows XP or
Vista, a Web cam and/or a microphone. It works with Firefox 2.0+, Internet
Explorer 7.0, Safari 3.0 and Chrome.

Pay-For Content Set To Grow Faster Than Free, With Music Leading The Way,
Forecast Says
— Maybe there are legs after all to that hypothesis on the
return of pay-for content – the one Economist publisher Paul Rossi
suggested at our Future Of Business Media conference last month. Just 12
percent of European web users paid for online content last year, but that’s
due to rise to 19 percent by 2013, a new Jupiterresearch report says:
“While fr*ee content will continue to dominate, as overall online audiences
for all content categories continue to grow, so the number of European

users willing to pay for content online will grow at an even greater rate.”

Vivian Schiller Leaves NYT; Joins NPR As New CEO — This one is a shocker:
Vivian Schiller, the longtime head of NYTimes.com’s digital efforts, has
left the company, and has joined National Public Radio as its new CEO. She
succeeds Dennis Haarsager, who has served as interim CEO since March, after
Ken Stern left abruptly after internal discord. Also recently, Kinsey
Wilson, the executive editor of USA Today and previously the editor of
USAToday.com, left the paper and joined NPR as its digital head. With two
digital vets at NPR, its already formidable online presence and reputation
should grow, if only they can prevent getting mired in all the politics at
the company and its member stations. (Our interview with Schiller is here.)

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