Posts Tagged ‘Tumblr’

Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post last week for $250 million, a surprise to many including The New York Times, which had just published a big feature on the paper’s publisher, Katharine Weymouth, who remains as publisher and whose family has owned the paper for eight decades.  The Post had served as advisor to Amazon on designing the Kindle so Bezos was no stranger to management (and now being called a press baron – FT). No surprise though for all the media-covering-the-media coverage and stories of storied publishing families who have relinquished control:  Chandlers of the LA Times  and Bancrofts of The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, The New York Times was quick to announce that it is not for sale, even though it did sell The Boston Globe to the owner of the Red Sox, highlighting newspaper ownership today is really a who’s-on-first game.  Interesting graphic in The Times over the weekend showing the value of recent sales with Tumblr dwarfing others at $1.1 billion.

Elsewhere:

  • On the online news front, AOL announced that it was closing or finding partners for 400 out of its 900 Patch news sites, following in the footsteps of many major news outlets in saying the local online news model does not work;
  • The London whale, the ex JP Morgan trader who was tied to billions of losses for the bank, resurfaced amid reports that he will likely not face charges;
  • The bank also found itself as a target of  Justice Department probe;
  • Amid expectations for big withdrawals, SAC Capital reportedly may also be announcing layoffs sometime soon; and
  • The Dow ended its six-week winning streak to close down 1.5 percent for the week at 15,425 (although still up 18 percent for the year). End of Story
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Yahoo LogoDoes anyone remember the 90s? You know, the era of the dot com boom. When Pets.com had amazing commercials, when a prince could be both fresh and from Bel-Air, when a Boy would meet the World, and when Zack Morris made a career of skipping classes but magically landed an acceptance letter to Yale? (Televised fiction at its finest.) There was also this huge online powerhouse called Yahoo—have you heard of them?

According to recent news articles, Yahoo has been seeing some short-term success. In fact, its stock has seen an increase around 70%. Can Yahoo reinvent itself while continuing to appeal to investors and consumers alike, or are the company's recent gains nothing more than a fluke?

In the grand scheme of things, it's easy to see how Yahoo has some legit staying power. The company has survived not only the dot com bubble burst, but an onslaught of competition from Google and, to a lesser extent, Bing. Regardless of its diminished popularity, however, the brand itself continues to stay relevant. Who knew Yahoo would buy Tumblr? Who know Yahoo could afford Tumblr? Let's move on to some scholarly opinions on the matter of Yahoo's future:

"Yahoo is facing an uphill battle and won’t make it to the top.

  1. Yes, their share price has increased, but so have the equity markets as a whole, which can be largely attributed to the Fed’s bond-buying program. Furthermore, a big driver of Yahoo’s share price is their 24% stake in Chinese company Alibaba Group which reportedly tripled its net income in the first three months of 2013. Alibaba is expected to hold an IPO in the near future, which brings with it lots of uncertainty as the company will face new pressure from public shareholders. Yahoo’s company performance, therefore, is inflated on two counts.
  2. They are well behind the competition. Shares of Facebook are up 30% this week alone after reporting a 51% year over year increase in its active monthly mobile users. Google performed a bit below analyst expectations but still reported a profit increase, and their market cap is 10 times the size of Yahoo’s. Google is also heavily immersed in mobile and wireless. Notice a trend? Much like the fates of the Dells and HPs of the world have been sealed by the lack of a transition from desktop to tablet, Yahoo’s future will remain murky at best unless they make a big push from desktop ads to mobile ads.
  3. Uncertainty among management. While CEO Marissa Mayer is still in the turn-around phase in her Yahoo tenure, having just completed her first year, let’s not forget about those who are advising her. Just this week Yahoo board member Dan Loeb, founder and chief executive of hedge fund Third Point and an instrumental part in stabilizing Yahoo’s top management (remember, Yahoo had 5 different CEOs from 2007 to 2012), sold a majority of his Yahoo shares (at a nice profit!) and relinquished his board seats. Two other directors that Mr. Loeb brought in with him are also departing.

Yahoo has a bevy of obstacles to overcome and several strong competitors who will be hard-pressed to relinquish any market share. For all the reasons above, I am calling this a fluke." ~Sean (@scrsilva)

More opinions after the jump >
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Image Courtesy: Adweek

This week, while flipping through the latest issue of Marie Claire, a page that caught my eye—it was chock-full of statistics and quick hits of advice, organized well and filled with fun graphics. As I read through the piece, I finally settled on the small but bold logo at the bottom of the page. I was reading an advertisement, seamlessly folded into the pages of Marie Claire, practically posing as an article.

Native advertising, which mimics content and is less intrusive to readers (although a proper definition is debated), has emerged as a buzzword in the ad world. As publications crunch numbers to support their news content, advertising has become an essential source of revenue—fellow Prosekian Julia discussed this topic in September. Yet creating compelling ads for a generation of readers who want their news quicker than ever has become a challenge. Native advertising offers a unique alternative to traditional banner ads, and has already proven more effective in attracting eyeballs.

Recently, native advertising came to the forefront of conversation with Yahoo!’s acquisition of Tumblr, a pioneer in this strategy. Tumblr Radar positions brands’ posts in a reserved section on every user’s dashboard, and users can pay to promote their own blogs. Although Tumblr wasn’t able to fully monetize native ads, a company like Yahoo! may give this strategy the kick it needs to drive revenue. Certainly, the 17.5 billion page views that Tumblr generates daily may become a hotbed for ads, but Tumblr also offers Yahoo! a platform where readers are actively seeking compelling content, sponsored or not.

So, as blogs like Tumblr and Buzzfeed (also a major player in the native ad space) begin to blur the lines of editorial and advertising, what does this mean for traditional, trusted media outlets?

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Robert Gibbs BriefingAs special adviser and former press secretary to President Barrack Obama, Robert Gibbs has learned a few things about social media and Twitter, working with probably the most social-media savvy president to date and journalists who consider social-media platforms essential parts of their daily story-finding and profile-building activities.

But his advice doesn’t stop with just the press.  “If your clients are not using social media, then they will not be the brands that grow or strengthen for long,” he told the Council of PR Firms at the group’s annual Critical Issues Forum in New York last week. Many agreed, noting that new media now allows them to cultivate customers 24/7 around the world.

The press, however, is at the core of Gibbs’s work and he described how the use of such channels is changing everything from elections to events.

“The 2012 elections will be the ‘Twitter election’,” he said. No real surprise if you look how Twitter is becoming a fundraising tool.

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The Week Unpeeled

Wall Street may have been “occupied” by protestors, but the markets were otherwise pre-occupied with ongoing and somewhat deeper concerns about the economic outlook for the US and Europe last week, with stocks ending the third quarter as the weakest since the financial crisis.  The Dow lost 240 points on Friday to close at 10,913, or down 12 percent for the quarter.  Elsewhere:

  • CBS’s “60 Minutes” lost Andy Rooney —92 years old!—who has played the curmudgeon on the news program for more than three decades or 120 quarters;
  • Tumblr raised $85 million in venture capital in a move that valued the blogging service at $800 million;
  • Warren Buffett, in a move he has been known to criticize, bought back tens of billions of dollars of his company’s stock, highlighting the amount of cash on the sidelines at big companies like Berkshire Hathaway;
  • Reebok got kicked in the butt that it is trying to tone and was told to pay customers $25 million for false claims that its EasyTone shoes are no better than maybe even flipflops;
  • Tainted melons from Colorado were linked to at least 15 deaths and many more illnesses in one of the deadliest food-borne outbreaks in a decade;
  • One of the US’s most-wanted Al Qaeda terrorists was killed in Yemen in a CIA drone attack;
  • Chelsea Clinton joined the IAC board;
  • Former US State Department Assistant Secretary James Rubin left Bloomberg View in a kinda surprise move; and
  • Amazon discovered Fire.

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