Another FTC event, still nothing final

Yesterday's FTC hearings on behavioral targeting failed to create any regulations, but did outline that BT can be both good and bad. Compared to the scare that spam caused, the FTC has been relatively kind to behavioral targeting so far.

The FTC write-up notes:

According to the testimony, behavioral advertising may provide a variety of benefits to consumers, including free content, personalization of ads, and a potential reduction in unwanted advertising. Consumer research has shown that consumers value online ads that are more personalized.

Jupiter's surveys show that only 28 percent of online users prefer well targeted ads to random ads, but it seems intuitive that well targeted advertising is desireable in general.

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Premature Death-Reporting?

“He said, ‘If you have old media, you should sell,’” according to one attendee, who spoke anonymously because the sessions are off-the-record. “If you own newspapers, sell. If you own TV stations, sell. If you own a movie studio, sell.”

If you own a social media start-up that isn't Facebook, sell?

It's not new media or old media, Marc, it's multi-media.

Fashion Froward

Not sure I'm ready for this:

    Changing hemlines have long been a hallmark of women's fashion. But this summer, it's men's hems that are rising. Brooks Brothers has raised pant hems about half an inch in its top-of-the-line Golden Fleece suits and is leaning toward a slightly shorter pant length across its more moderately priced collection.

Far as I can tell, Don Draper's pants still break at shoetop.

Short Line in SF at the Apple Store

I was on my way back from a meeting early this morning downtown when I wandered by the Apple Store. It was mostly a typical scene at 7am in downtown San Francisco. Streets were being cleaning. Vendors were opening up for the day. A handful of homeless people were beginning to wander around.

I walked by the store and saw a tent. I though - oh, a homeless person camped in the middle of the sidewalk. That's odd. (There are a lot of homeless people in SF, but they typically don't camp in the middle of the sidewalk at busy intersections.) Then it dawned on me, "oh …. That person is ‘the line.'" I went to my meeting for a couple of hours and then wandered back by.

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Apple ' s Apps

I'm really jazzed to see some of my favorite applications making their way on to the Apple platform and into the applications store. And some of the best ones are FREE!!!

The majority of cell phone users (ok, well the minority buy applications, but among those who do buy and download content to their cell phones) who buy content and applications for their phones do so directly from the carriers' decks. There are lots of limitations as we know. OTA allows the purchased to be spontaneous, but it can be difficult to find what you want.

An iTunes experience for mobile applications that is on par with their music, video, podcasting, etc. experience could really move the needle - at least for iPhone users in the near term. I have so many other reasons already to sync my iPhone with my computer to get my latest music, podcasts, photos, etc.

I've mostly been looking through press releases to see what is there plus searching for some of my favorites. Good to see a lot of location-based applications (Loopt, Where) and utilities - applications that go well beyond personalization and appeal to a more mature audience.

AT&T also announced today that they are delivering 1.4Mbps to handsets - those speeds rival your average crowded Wi-Fi hotspot.

I'm very anxious to begin downloading some applications and see how the device and the platform have been leveraged.

My colleague Michael Gartenberg is covering the launch in more detail and fielding press calls for us.


Online video ads can be fun

If there is one thing I've heard from family and friends about video ads through the years it is how annoying everyone thinks they are. They are hard to see, too slow, the same one plays over and over, etc. A lot of this has to do with the technology that publishers use and people's own connection speeds.
VideoEgg has been trying to make the experience more enjoyable for the masses, and today is releasing a 'widgety' video ad format that is really intuitive and good looking. It allows for localized ads, RSS, retail, and many other bells and whistles. But my favorite part is that it is fun to use. I have always been a fan of the 3,2,1 countdown from rollover to expand. Once fully expanded, the video plays cleanly and the skin is very well designed. These elements are what will make consumers pay attention.
Take a look for yourself:

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Getty and Flickr: Sounds Good; Details Sketchy

Flickr and Getty Images are definitely two great brands that should go great together, but it was pretty difficult getting any details out of the two when they briefed me the other day. Under the arrangement -- money does change hands but no one's talking -- Getty editors will pore over Flickr photos to fill out a collection of stock images they think will number in the "tens of thousands in a reasonable amount of time" with a bias towards "authenticity" and underserved regions. Getty will do individual deals with the would-be pros by contacting them via Yahoo communications.

The two talked about tools beyond Flickr tagging to help the editors find the good stuff, but wouldn't reveal any secret formulae. Getty claims its editors process 7,000 to 10,000 images a day already, but aren't those submitted with pretty strict guidelines and metadata? In any event, Getty isn't planning on hiring any extra staff to handle the newbies, nor re-writing its contracts.

So snap away, Flickrs, you could be a star.

MSM Google Backlash Continues

Gee, first it was a juicy daycare mini-scandal, now the Journal shows just how screwed up Google's YouTube ad efforts are. Hint, fixing ad operations was codenamed "project spaghetti." Chinks in the armor?

From a Jupiter report on Competing with YouTube.

According to consumers, YouTube excels across all criteria, including the three core video experiences. However, it scores its highest marks in easy sharing, user-generated content (UGC), and effective search. Through these strengths, YouTube has carved out a dominant position and mind share in the viral video market.

YouTube has linked its core strengths to an activity system for users that competitors will have an extremely hard time matching. JupiterResearch's second-mover framework identifies and evaluates competitive options: fast-follower, niche-segment, profit-margin advantage, and disruptive strategies.

Sign of the Apocalypse?

Unless I'm mistaken, that's a decidedly lukewarm review of the iPhone 3G from Uncle Walt.