Articles of the Day


Google May Power Search, Ads For Russia’s Odnoklassniki Social Net — Russia’s top social network Odnoklassniki.ru is testing Google’s search box, both companies confirmed to business paper Kommersant, leading to a possible ad sales split in what is one of the world’s fastest growing online ad markets. With Google’s acquisition of RuNet portal Rambler’s Begun contextual ad agency recently blocked by anti-trust authorities, the search tie-up could offer a further foothold in a market that is booming despite the US slowdown in web ads’ growth. One Russian ad agency boss told Kommersant an Odnoklassniki.ru deal would add five percent to the 32 percent share of the Russian ad market Google (NSDQ: GOOG) would enjoy if the Begun deal goes ahead. It’s said to be the brainchild of new president Nikita Sherman, who has set about adding more paid features and driving monetization opportunities. Kommersant says the deal could make the portal an extra $1.5-$2 million next year, though the estimate isn’t explained. 

WPP Launches Ad Network In China, Latest Push By A Madison Avenue Biggie — WPP Group is extending its digital footprint into one of the largest and fastest growing online markets – China – and it’s doing it via an alliance that will form a new online advertising network. The move is interesting for two reasons. One, it makes good on WPP chief Martin Sorrell’s vow to establish more of a presence in China. Secondly, it marks yet another move by a big agency holding company to form its own advertising network, a step that could potentially disintermediate the array of third parties that dominate the space.  

NYT Claims To Have Figured Out Facebook As A Business Tool — The NYT is declaring that it cracked the code on using Facebook as a promotional vehicle. The company says that a branding campaign this month aimed at building Facebook fans around election news netted the paper “4.3 times the value of our spend,” according to a memo by president Scott Heekin-Canedy and posted on Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab site. It’s unclear exactly what that means: Heekin-Canedy doesn’t say what the baseline value of its ad spend was, and we called for clarification but didn’t get an answer. 

Music Service iLike In Search Of A Buyer: Report — Social music service iLike is on the block, MediaMemo reports—with existing stakeholder Ticketmaster and online music pioneer RealNetworks at the top of the potential buyers list. ILike has raised about $16 million in funding since its launch in 2006, with Ticketmaster and Bob Pittman’s Pilot Group as its investors. If this situation sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Fellow music-focused social media company Imeem is also on the hunt for a buyer, a sign that both companies’ management teams are wary of functioning independently in an increasingly cash-strapped market. Still, investors haven’t shied away from from pumping money into the digital music space: distributor TuneCore closed a $7 million funding round just last month, and Facebook has even been pondering its own music offering. Facebook also could be a likely buyer, given that iLike is one of its most popular apps, attracting about 5.4 million active users per month, but a pure stock play is likely to go over as well as it did with Twitter.

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