Almost everyone from The Kelsey Group is in Denver for most of this week for our annual directories/Yellow Pages conference, DDC2005. I'm still working furiously to get some things accomplished before I join them tomorrow.
So, for now, here are some quick hits on the news today:
- MSN's AdCenter formally launches today in France and Singapore (in '06 in the U.S.): the much-touted demographic targeting is built on Hotmail (and Passport) registrations. Here's the press release. AdCenter should compel more data/analytics about targeting and ad performance to be integrated into the Yahoo! (which has more registered users and has experimented with demo-behavioral targeting) and Google programs in the future (and potentially call tracking).
- The IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers put out their report on the first half of 2005. Internet advertising revenues (U.S.) were a reported $5.8 billion, which was a 26% increase over the same period last year. Search was the largest revenue category: 40% of the total at $2.3 billion. Interestingly search maintained the same share but grew by $500 million vs. the same period last year when it was worth just over $1.8 billion.
- InfoSpace announced the launch of a new Mobile-Local (Mo-Lo) Search application. Leveraging its carrier relationships and InfoSpace/Switchboard content/search assets, the app uses GPS and other methods to locate users and offer a range of local services. The online search and directory players, as well as carriers and a range of other technology companies (and DA-related providers), are working overtime to make Mo-Lo Search work. Nobody's cracked the code and it's unclear when that will happen. ("Waiting for Wireless" [re the user experience] is on the ILM:05 agenda.)
- Late last week the folks over at The Pew Internet & American Life Project issued a report that takes a generally bearish look at the near future of broadband adoption in the U.S. The document asserts that 53 percent of U.S. Internet households now have a broadband connection (there are a range of numbers in the marketplace — TKG's is 57 percent). However, it also asserts that 32 percent of the adult U.S. population does not use the Internet at all and that virtually all the pent-up demand for high-speed access has now run its course in the U.S. Accordingly, the Pew report suggests dramatically slowed growth for broadband absent structural or dramatic government policy changes to promote further adoption. (For many reasons, I believe broadband will continue its growth.)
- Yahoo! is going to create original finance content with some marquee names. That, plus Yahoo!'s recent news "acquisition" of Kevin Sites + Lloyd Braun + Terry Semel = more original content on the way.
- Speaking of content, Google Video upgrades and improvements launched today (e.g., no software downloads required now), together with the ability to view full episodes of UPN's Everybody Hates Chris. Beyond the fact that lots of video content that never appears on TV/cable will be available online, this Google-UPN relationship suggests how traditional video content producers might leverage search as a way to extend their brands/products and reach larger — and more targeted/devoted — audiences at the same time.
- (Per Paid Content) Intermix founder and big shareholder Brad Greenspan tries to thwart the News Corp. acquisition of MySpace (apparently because he thinks the US$580 million deal undervalues the company!).
- AOL.com officially emerges from beta today.
That's it for now.