As part of Advertising Week in New York, AOL's Platform-A ad service has unveiled BidPlace, an ad exchange that will launch in the first half of next year.
In an ad exchange, advertisers place bids on pieces of inventory, and the highest bidder wins. It's the premise behind companies such as Right Media, which Yahoo acquired in 2007 after initially investing in it.
BidPlace will let advertisers bid on AOL sites, its partner sites, and third-party sites that use Platform-A's ad network. AOL says Platform-A's network reaches 90 percent of online audiences, according to ComScore statistics.
BidPlace clients will be able to use a Web interface to define an ad budget, manage their bids, and have access to analytics. The technology is based on AdLearn, which AOL acquired when it purchased Advertising.com for $435 million in 2004 .
Apple's doing well in the high-rent district of the computer industry, according to NPD.
On Friday eWeek published some data confirmed by NPD that reveals Apple now owns 66 percent of the U.S. retail market for personal computers that cost more than $1,000. Its percentage of the U.S. retail market in general is 14 percent, according to NPD.
Apple only sells one Mac below $1,000 --the Mac mini--so it's not all that surprising that it would do well in that category, given the momentum behind Mac sales over the past year. By contrast, the single largest category of notebooks available at Best Buy-- when sorted by price --falls between $700 and $899. And two-thirds of the desktops on the site are priced below $1,000.
These numbers don't include an awful lot of sales--such as corporate PCs that account for about half the market, and online-heavy sellers such as Dell--but tend to illustrate trends in the U.S. PC market over time. Apple only had about 18 percent of the same category in January 2006, according to Fortune . That was the same month Apple introduced its first Intel-based Mac .
This is a profitable category, however, that all PC companies covet. Those PC companies may be reaching corporate customers at those price points, but Apple is dominating the consumer half of the high end.
MINNEAPOLIS--Republican partygoers in the Twin Cities this week may have been sporting slightly more formal attire than their counterparts in Denver--think more suits and pearl necklaces--but that doesn't mean their parties were any less bumping.
The Google/ Vanity Fair party Thursday night in Minneapolis for the Republican convention largely measured up to, and in some respects surpassed, the Google party in Denver.
The two parties were the same in concept--well-known politicians, unknown aides, and a smattering of Hollywood celebrities moved through rooms sporting colored themes, finger foods, and open bars. However, the lines at the bars in Minneapolis were shorter, and there was a greater selection of food: there were chocolate-covered strawberries, sushi, sliders, and even a mashed potato bar complete with fixings like lobster and caviar.
The party was held at the Walker Art Center, a modern building that stood in eye-catching contrast to the traditional churches that dotted the neighborhood. Inside the center, one of the nation's top contemporary art museums, were high ceilings, sharp angles, and modern chandeliers, lending the party a slightly more sophisticated feel than last week's at Denver's Exdo Event Center.
The one Hollywood celebrity CNET reporters spotted at the party late in the evening was Rosario Dawson, who diplomatically attended both the Republican and Democratic conventions. Google co-founder Larry Page showed up in a pinstriped suit; Google CEO Eric Schmidt and senior legal VP David Drummond were at the Republican convention earlier in the week, a Google representative told us.
Partygoers seemed pleased with the evening. However, no one--not even the social conservatives--appeared happy when the bars shut down precisely at 1 a.m., apparently because of a city ordinance.
MySpace.com, a high-profile player in Google's new OpenSocial developer project , isn't willing to let Facebook get away with stealing the week's big advertising headlines .
The News Corp.-owned social-networking site announced Monday morning that it has completed the first phase of a new advertising program it calls "HyperTargeting," which uses the information that members put in their profiles to serve up ads they might actually want to see.
MySpace initially began its HyperTargeting program in July, dividing its users into groups of "enthusiasts" in 10 categories and catering the advertising to those segments. "Performance increases for brands on the HyperTargeting platform were as high as 300 percent compared to demographically targeted campaigns," a statement from MySpace claimed.
Some of the 50-plus advertisers in the first phase of the advertising program have been Procter & Gamble, Microsoft's Xbox, Ford, Toyota, XM Satellite Radio, and film studios Universal Pictures, Lionsgate, and Fox Searchlight.
With the second phase of HyperTargeting, those 10 "enthusiast" categories have been expanded into more than 100 subcategories--so instead of simply singling out "movie fans," the targeting intelligence could use profile information to pick out science-fiction fans. So far, this has only been released on MySpace's U.S. site, but early next year it will expand to its international versions.
"Our mission...was to build an ad platform that translates our massive amounts of self-expressed user data into highly targeted, interest-based segments, enabling us to better serve the exact right ad to the right person at the right time," said Michael Barrett, chief revenue officer for MySpace parent division Fox Interactive Media.
But logging into MySpace, I don't see a whole lot of "targeting." The home page is covered in student credit-card advertisements, which is odd because I don't think my profile provides any indication that I've been a student recently. On my profile, I saw Google advertisements for New York apartments, a Christian dating service, acne medication, and diet pills.
OK, the first one is relevant, but the other three...I'm not so sure about.
If MySpace's HyperTargeting is trying to tell me I need a full-out makeover and a new G-rated romance, um, I'm not listening.