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May 24, 2008

Update Your Facebook Profile From More Websites

Ed: Facebook expanded the import feature to support more services. 

Initially, import worked with RSS feeds, typically from blogs. It connects the blog with my social profile; and the news feeds of my friends. (ed: this Facebook feature has been the most consistent feeder of readers to this blog.)

The extended feature has opened blogosphere controversy.
  • Does this compete with lifestreaming? Is lifestreaming relevant (narcissistic) or is the focus on the news feeds about your friends (shared)?
  • Is Facebook a walled garden? or will data portability release these streams to other venues? (Google's Friend Connect)
  • Do these features compete with Facebook applications that provide the same results? Facebook deploys the top sites; and leaves the Long Tail for application developers. 
  • Is Facebook an application platform like an operating system; or a community of college educated people?
Lots of change.

Update Your Profile From More Websites
A few weeks ago, we told you about the new ability to import stories into your Mini-Feed from other sites. Since then, we've been working on increasing the number of sites that work with this feature. We're happy to report that now, you can import activity from YouTube, StumbleUpon, Hulu, Pandora, Last.fm, and Google Reader in addition to Flickr, Picasa, Digg, Yelp and del.icio.us.

Look for the "Import" link in the corner of your Mini-Feed to connect your Facebook profile to your accounts on any of these websites. Your profile will automatically update when you upload a video to YouTube, rate last night's episode of The Office on Hulu, and so on. If you have a personal blog, you can enter the URL in and a Mini-Feed story will be published every time you write a new post. As your friends start importing activity, keep an eye on your News Feed, it will only become more interesting as Facebook opens up to more sites.

Peter, a Product Manager, created Lupe Fiasco Radio on Pandora and rated Goodbye, Toby (The Office) on Hulu.

Facebook's Lifestream Adds More Services

Last month, we reported the arrival of Facebook's version of a lifestream when they began offering you a way to import content from various online services into your Facebook Mini-Feed. At the time, the only services available were FlickrPicasaYelp, and del.icio.us. (Diggwas added later on). Today, a post on the Facebook blog announces that you can now import from several other services, including YouTubeStumbleUponHuluPandoraLast.fm, and Google Reader.

At the time of last month's Facebook's announcement, we dismissed Facebook's attempt at lifestreaming, saying there was "nothing to see here." Those same reasons still hold true today...to some extent. In comparison to current web darling FriendFeed, the Facebook Mini-Feed can't compare - there is no "liking" or commenting available, the number of services still pales in comparison to FriendFeed's (although that may change in time), but most importantly, the feed stays locked in Facebook with no RSS export option. You have to be logged into Facebook.com to view both the Mini-Feed or the News Feed.

However, with the number of services supported today - eleven plus a new option to enter in your blog URL, too - Facebook is clearly laying the groundwork to become the everyman's version of FriendFeed. And, for all we know, those features it lacks, like commenting and liking, might be just around the corner.

The Facebook post reminds us to "keep an eye on your News Feed, it will only become more interesting as Facebook opens up to more sites," so something tells us they aren't done yet.

Facebook Will Be the Mainstream Everything

Don't Look Now, But Facebook is Eating Your Lunch

Facebook has status updates that you can update via SMS (watch out Twitter), they have a news feed that now accepts 12 outside inputs (watch out FriendFeed), they have the biggest photo sharing site on the web (watch out Flickr), they have a built in chat application (watch out Meebo). These features were all added as an after thought. Facebook has taken the most buzzed about early adopter-targeted applications, and turned them into features for the mainstream...

Oh the heels of some of Facebook's missteps (ahem, Beacon) and the proliferation of a myriad of useless, silly, and time-wasting apps, some formerFacebook users decided to quit the site for good this year. However, a handful of early adopter angst doesn't have Facebook worried. Why is that? Because Facebook has a whole generation of users who grew up using their site for everything social back when it was just a way to network with their high school or college friends. So what are the everyday Facebook users doing that keeps them engaged in the service? It's not throwing sheep, apparently. For many Facebook users, there are still useful apps to be found and ways to use the service that the rest of us could learn from.

See also: Why There Should Be Web Search on Facebook and Facebook Censoring User Messaging: Spam Prevention or Unaccountable Control of Conversation?

Facebook Platform, One Year Later

Facebook Platform launched on May 24, 2007 to widespread acclaim. It was heralded as the “Anti-MySpace”, which had until then been notoriously closed and unhelpful to many application developers. Suddenly we had a platform that offered unprecedented access to a social network’s API, enough so that 3rd party developers could potentially create apps that would rival Facebook’s home-brewed offerings.

Only four days after the platform’s launch, iLike (then the leading 3rd party app) had accumulated 400,000 users - nearly 5% of all Facebook users had it installed. Initial results were promising enough that a number of venture capital funds were established solely for Facebook apps.

Hints of a Facebook Operating System In New Design


It’s become a common trope to say that Facebook and Google are vying to become the operating system of the Internet. But there are some very clear hints of that in Facebook’s upcoming new design, which it just opened up to today in a developer sandbox. (You can see it athttp://www.new.facebook.com, although you’ll need to download some libraries to start testing apps with it).

It appears that Facebook is moving closer to becoming a Webtop application, fusing elements of the desktop into the Web experience.


Eagle-eyed TechCrunch reader Ryan Merket (above) noticed something vaguely familiar about the new design. See the menu bar above his profile? Look closely. Its got some handy menus on the left that take him to his profile, his friends, applications, and inbox.

newfb-searchbar.pngAnd on the right of the menu bar is a search box. That is the same visual metaphor you find in the menu bar on desktop operating systems...

NEWS: CrunchBase Now Integrated With LinkedIn API

CrunchBase Now Integrated With LinkedIn API

We will shortly be releasing a new version ofCrunchBase, the company and people database wiki that you often see linked to here on TechCrunch.

In the meantime, though, we’ve added a few new features to the product, including integration with LinkedIn via their API. You can now click a button and see if you are linked to any of the employees at any particular startup. The image to the left shows Google, but you may be surprised to find a connection to someone at even the smaller new companieswe cover. The integration is identical to what Business Week announced last December.

More news from CrunchBase coming soon. And if you haven’t put in your own bio and picture yet, or information about your startup, please add it. We’re now tracking 4,460 startups and over 10,000 people.

If you want to add the LinkedIn widget to your own site, there’s more information here.

Ed: a widget that links names with LinkedIn search for that profile and it's social graph. 

NEWS: TheRarestWords: Intriguing Semantic SEO Project from Russia

TheRarestWords: Intriguing Semantic SEO Project from Russia


A mysterious yet intriguing project from Russia has come across our inbox. It is a search-engine optimization analysis tool for Websites called TheRarestWords. For any given URL, like Microsoft’sor Techcrunch’s, it shows you the rarest keywords on the homepage (i.e., the ones most likely to give your site some search-engine juice), other sites with related keywords, and a list of categories the site would fit under based on those keywords. For Microsoft, some the rare keywords it identifies are “silverlight,” “biztalk,” “onecare,” “skydrive, “popfly,” “ballmer,” and “ozzie.” You can try your site by going to http://therarestwords.com/YOURSITE.com.

rarestwords-1.pngTheRarestWords then tries to tap into crowd intelligence by letting anyone add a 100-character definition for each keyword, which could give it a semantic edge in trying to categorize each site. This could also be gamed pretty easily, but this looks to be just a Web project at this point. It could also be used to create a Wiki dictionary likeLingoz or Wiktionary, but that does not seem to be the focus of the project...

NEWS: The Case For A Time Warner - NBC U Merger (TWX, GE)

Ed: Content+Advertising == Media with low CAPEX (capital expenditures)

Access is high CAPEX business based on subscriptions - like cable, telecom, wireless broadband, or the legacy AOL dial-up.

Both are fragmented, highly competitive businesses. Owning both has delivered little synergy for sustained growth. 

The Case For A Time Warner - NBC U Merger (TWX, GE)

bewkes.jpegSo, what's Jeff Bewkes going to do after the split-off of Time Warner Cable leaves him with a much-smaller, much-less-leveraged Time Warner (TWX)? Well, quite a few people are thinking he'll buy NBC U (GE), or at least attempt a merger.

Fortune's Richard Siklos lays out the arguments in favor:

  • If the split happened today, Time Warner's market cap would shrink from $58 billion to $33 billion, making the onetime top dog in media look like a puny also-ran next to Disney (DIS) ($64 billion), News Corp. (NWS) ($50 billion), and Comcast (CMCSA) ($65 billion).
  • Time Warner and NBC U have incredibly complementary assets and are both focused on building their cable portfolios. They're both bidding on Weather Channel, the biggest cable property in play.
  • There are big potential cost savings, including merging NBC News with CNN (and shuttering MSNBC) and combining NBC U's cable networks with Turner Entertainment. The joint company could also sell NBC U's smaller film studio and theme parks division.
  • The spinoff of the cable division would allow Time Warner to own a broadcast TV network (NBC).
  • GE's Jeff Immelt put the conglomerate's storied appliance unit on the block, so he's looking to sell assets and nothing is sacred.

Of course none of his happens until after the spin-off is complete in Q4 and Time Warner sorts out what it's going to do with AOL. And Time Warner will no doubt want to wait until its stock appreciates a bit. Nicholas Heymann at Sterne Agee thinks NBC U is worth about $33 billion, about the same as Time Warner's content businesses today, even though Time Warner without cable has more than double NBC U's operating earnings.

NEWS: You Play a Game, Computers Get Smarter, AI Starts to Work

Ed: AI described as cyborg with "Human Intelligence Tasks," or HITs. 

AI or semantic web has data gathering and inference parts. Google search with its ranked page gathers data, but intelligence still requires staff supervision, page by page. 

HIT pushes data gathering to users, but no signs of intelligent life, yet. 

Classic Turing test defines intelligence as when the blinded user cannot distinguish results from man or machine. Today, we can easily see Google search pages that have been optimized and not optimized. The latter results are often useless.

You Play a Game, Computers Get Smarter, AI Starts to Work

Last week a new site called Gwap was launched by Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science. The site offers an array of multi-player games that have a benefit beyond just that of momentary distraction or amusement. These games are helping improve image and audio searches, teaching computers to see, and enhancing AI. However, all that won't matter to the players because, as it turns out, these games are actually fun.

About Gwap

Nicholas Carr blogged about Gwap a couple of days after its launch, noting that "one thing the Internet enables, which wasn't possible before, at least not on anywhere near the same scale, is the transfer of human intelligence into machine intelligence." In Gwap, which stands for "Games With a Purpose," that transfer of intelligence is done by getting people to do the routine chores that computers don't know how to do - chores like tagging photos, describing songs, and outlining objects, as well as transferring a good bit of human common sense to the machine. The trick to getting people to do these things is to make the work fun. Hence the games.

The creator of these games is Luis von Ahn, winner of a 2006 MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" and a pioneer in the field of human computation. Ahn is most notable for helping to develop CAPTCHAs (Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart), those somewhat annoying but rather effective distorted letter puzzles used millions of times each day. Last year, he also introduced the "reCAPTCHA," where CAPTCHAs were used to gain access to a web site while also helping digitize old books.

Gwap homepage

The Games

Gwap currently features five games, one of which is an old classic called the ESP Game. In the ESP game, two players view the same image and try to guess words that the other player would use to describe it. Google licensed this technology and launched Google Image Labeler to help improve the quality of their image search results.

The four new games include:

• Matchin, a game in which players judge which of two images is more appealing, is designed to eventually enable image searches to rank images based on which ones look the best.
• Tag a Tune, in which players describe songs so that computers can search for music other than by title - such as happy songs or love songs.
• Verbosity, a test of common sense knowledge that will amass facts for use by artificial intelligence programs.
• Squigl, a game in which players trace the outlines of objects in photographs to help teach computers to more readily recognize objects.

According to the Carnegie Mellon announcement, von Ahn plans to add a lot of games to the site, saying "we have three more that we'll be launching in the coming months." He hopes that by having all the games on the same site it will encourage players to try several different ones. Players also have a single sign-on and password, Top Player rankings, and online chats, said von Ahn.

The Human Processor

In his whitepaper entitled "Invisible Computing," von Ahn compared game design to to algorithm creation, saying:

"...it must be proven correct, its efficiency can be analyzed, a more efficient version can supersede a less efficient one, and so on. Instead of using a silicon processor, these "algorithms" run on a processor consisting of ordinary humans interacting with computers over the Internet."

In other words, we're the processor. The machine is us.

This concept isn't entirely new - Amazon's Mechanical Turk, for example, pays people to contribute their time to work on small, simple tasks called "Human Intelligence Tasks," or HITs. However, unlike HITs, which can sometimes be boring or tedious, the games on Gawp are actually fun - and they don't feel like work.

Some believe that human powered processing is the next big wave for computing. You could argue that Mahalo, the human-powered search engine is an example of this. (Though others call it a human-powered link farm.) Perhaps a better example is ChaCha, the mobile Q&A service that uses human guides to respond to questions called or texted in from your cell phone. We've also covered other human-powered services on RWW in the past, like the Galaxy Zoo and Stardust@Home project, among other (our coverage here). Many of these efforts have tried to incorporate an element of "fun" into what is actually work.

Whether Gwap will actually gain momentum and get a large number of people involved is yet to be seen, but it is definitely has potential to help teach computers the things they can't do for themselves....yet.

NEWS: Mobissimo Has Raised 1/223 The Capital Of Kayak (And Out Executes Them)

Ed: Classic entrepreneurial execution. Hurray for Long Tail do-ers.

Mobissimo Has Raised 1/223 The Capital Of Kayak (And Out Executes Them)

Connecticut startup Kayak has raised $223 million in venture capital and employs 58 people to build and grow its travel search site. Its chief competitor, San Francisco based Mobissimo, has raised $1 million and has just 15 employees. Mobissimo also became profitable last year, and the company doesn’t have to raise more money unless it’s to fuel faster growth or acquisitions.

It’s also clear even from a cursory comparison of the two sites that Mobissimo is trying harder than Kayak to help you find exactly the flight and hotel you are looking for. Kayak is largely similar to other travel search sites - enter where you want to go and get back results from a number of providers, sort by price, etc...

May 23, 2008

NEWS: Cisco announces alternative to SOAP protocol

Cisco announces alternative to SOAP protocol

Cisco announced a new protocol called Etch, designed to take the place of SOAP in the Cisco Unified Application Environment (CUAE).

SOAP is a lightweight protocol for exchange of information in a decentralized, distributed environment. For many use cases, for example, very high-volume transaction flow, it's not always the right answer.

While SOAP relies on a very complicated WSDL file to define the interface between the client and server, Etch uses a file in Cisco's own interface definition language that shares many similarities to a Java interface file.

In addition to a simplified configuration, Etch also promises less overhead over the wire, compared to SOAP. In a testbed environment where SOAP was managing around 900 calls a second, Etch generated more than 50,000 messages in a one-way mode, and 15,000 transactions with a full round-trip, company officials stated.

Etch is slated to go into beta release this summer and will be released under an open source license TBD.

NEWS: New York Times Embraces Link Journalism

US: Not just links, 'link journalism', NYT's Lede blog on the right track

According to Scott Karp from Publishing 2.0The New York Times is increasingly embracing link journalism - the idea that online journalism should heavily rely on one of the Web's main attributes, hyperlinking, to increase a story's editorial value.

Karp has been grappling with the idea of link journalism for some time (see his posts here).

The Times' Lede blog makes intensive use of 'link journalism'. In one of its posts, it links back to several external sources including the Wall Street JournalBloomberg NewsWashington Monthly,Washington PostUSA Today, and an independent blogger.

But according to Karp, 'link journalism' extends far beyond the simple act of hyperlinking: 

The Lede's posting "isn't just lazily linking to these stories -- he's read them, compared them, identified shortcomings, extracted key facts and issues, and connected the dots.

"In a traditional newspaper article, all of these facts and analysis would have been synthesized, but the reader wouldn't have had the opportunity to read for themselves the source material. This post does what journalism is supposed to do -- empower people with facts, understanding, and perspective about important issues."

The challenge for newspapers and their websites is to strike a balance, between remaining synthesizers of a wide mass of information (because consumers still expect journalists and editors to do so), while also becoming aggregators and relay points for news consumers who may want to access more in-depth sources on particular topics. 

New York Times Embraces Link Journalism

by Scott Karp · May 22nd, 2008 ·

The New York Times has certainly embraced blogging, but it was striking to see inthis post from The Lede just how much they’ve embraced link journalism:

Scanning the financial press this morning, readers would have seen a disturbing yet familiar burst of oil news: rising pricesaghast lawmakersand protests in Europe. But another piece of bad news topped off the fray, one that was much less familiar to close observers of the oil market:

If that’s an accurate assessment, prices are going to have to double another couple of times to bring demand into line with supply,” Kevin Drum wrote at The Washington Monthly. “$500 oil, anyone?

Already, a financial blogger was out of the gate with a renewed call to boost domestic oil production

What prompted the new jump? It’s never an easy question to answer, as The Washington Post explained in its lead coverage today

As for today’s uptick to $135, another report from Bloomberg News blamed traders engaged in wrong-way betting. The wrong bet, by the way, was for cheaper oil.

As Milton Ezrati, senior strategist at money manager Lord Abbett, told USA Today: “It’s the next black beast.”

Wow, just look at all the third-party sources linked here: Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, Washington Monthly, Washington Post, USA Today, and an independent blogger! The value for the reader here is enormous — not only do they get Times blogger Mike Nizza’s framing and perspective, they get links to all of this original reporting and analysis on this issue.

It’s great to see “the newspaper of record” has so evolved on the web — gone are the days when they to claim they have the last word on a topic or issue. The Times realizes that there is a rich universe of journalism on the web, and they can best serve their readers by helping them find the best reporting, alongside the NYT’s own gold standard reporting.

Here’s an example of why this isn’t just linking, but link JOURNALISM:

The Post article didn’t mention the new estimate on the future of crude. But Bloomberg News tacked it on to the end of an article suggesting that, far from being to blame for the soaring cost of oil, OPEC was in fact powerless to control it, according to one official:

OPEC has “no magic solution’’ to the surge, Qatar’s oil minister said. Prices are “out of the hands’’ of the organization, according to Libya’s top oil official.

Nizza isn’t just lazily linking to these stories — he’s read them, compared them, identified shortcomings, extracted key facts and issues, and connected the dots.

In a traditional newspaper article, all of these facts and analysis would have been synthesized, but the reader wouldn’t have had the opportunity to read for themselves the source material. This post does what journalism is supposed to do — empower people with facts, understanding, and perspective about important issues.

And the Times has clearly gotten over the red herring fear of “sending people away.” The Lede has helped readers make sense of what they read elsewhere, helping to make the Lede more essential than those other source. In my case, the Lede actually helped me figure out what else to read on this issue — by sending me to high quality sources on a topic of interest, as Google does, the Lede has ensured that I’m going to come BACK for more.

In other words, the Times has given me a reason NOT to go to the WSJ or The Washington Post first, and instead come here first — linking to your competitors is a great way to disintermediate them...

NEWS: Publishers Want More Video Ad Creative from Agencies

Publishers Want More Video Ad Creative from Agencies from ClickZ News Blog

streamingmediaeast.gifTired of seeing the same in-stream video ads over and over? The people selling them are getting sick of it, too. According to ad execs speaking at yesterday'sStreaming Media East conference in New York, one reason for the lack of variety is a lack of creative.

"We don't get multiple creatives," said SVP Digital Sales at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Christine Cook, alluding to the time the same pre-roll ad for a particular advertiser kept popping up before video clips of Martha demonstrating recipes for pasta or brownies.

Cook (what a great name for a Martha Stewart ad seller!) had the crowd audience cracking up. As it turned out, the ads were for a laxative brand.

Noting the promise of hyper online ad targeting, Cook said she would like to see agencies develop more creative elements to enable customized variation of Web video ads. "We're not getting as much creative…so you lose that opportunity of having that one-to-one [targeting]," she said.

Not only are advertisers and agencies overwhelmed by the options, they might not have the ability or budgets to produce a lot of varying creative or Web video elements, said Peter Naylor, SVP Digital Media Sales at NBC Universal. "They're as resource constrained as anybody."

From Cook's experience Web video advertisers are also are reluctant to provide shorter spots. Part of the problem is a lack of standards, she believes. Different publishers ask for different ad lengths, or offer different video formats, for example.

Speaking of ad burnout, Cook said Martha Stewart even tried reducing ad rates for 5-10 second spots to spur use of shorter ad slots. Referring to longer spots, she said, "We knew it was burnout for the consumer." 

NEWS: Publishers Upset with Poor Google AdSense Quality Targeting

Publishers Upset with Poor Google AdSense Quality Targeting

What's worse than having pop-up ads on your website? Having ads on your website that aren't actually contextual and aren't properly matching the text of your website to draw in prospects. (Well, maybe it's not worse, but it's surely frustrating a lot of publishers.) At WebmasterWorld, incrediBILL says that "[t]here were ads for all sorts of junk linking to sites that didn't have what it claimed, Amazon affiliates, off topic garbage, even phone company directory listings." He started trying to weed out the bad ads by hand, but says that his filter list is already full, so it wasn't easy to do.

Bill is not alone. It seems that a lot of other publishers are starting to filter out up to 90% of new ads that are using the Google AdSense program. Publishers complain that "[a]pparently the targeted ads aren't quality/relevance checked at all by Google," which doesn't make the viability of AdSense a strong one at this time.

STATS: What's A Web Video "View"? Whatever A Video Site Says A "View" Is

What's A Web Video "View"? Whatever A Video Site Says A "View" Is

dogvideo.jpegAh, the joys of Web metrics -- where you can't compare apples to apples, because each orchard counts its fruit differently.

This is a problem that's as old as the Internet, but has gotten hammered out to some degree for traditional Web publishers. Not so for the brave new world of Web video, where pretty much anything goes.

Which means that when YouTube, Crackle, or DailyMotion tell advertisers how well their sites perform, they're all talking about different things. Some video sites, like AOL and Stupidvideos, count a "view" every time a video is launched, meaning that someone watching a dog on a skateboard over and over is counted each time. Others, like Metacafe and blip.tv, only count one view per IP address.

The differences don't stop there. Some sites log a view immediately after a video is launched; others only count a view if a video has been watched for a certain amount of time...

Ed: Lots of over counting with video, advertising, and UU (unique users).

NEWS: Marketers: Print Budgets Down, Online Ad Spend to Grow Rapidly

Marketers: Print Budgets Down, Online Ad Spend to Grow Rapidly

Marketers are continuing to put their ad dollars online at the expense of print advertising, according to the 2008 “State of the Marketer” survey report from Eloqua, which found that 55% of marketers anticipate a decrease in print ad spend three years from now.

Spending Trends

Online advertising spend is expected grow at a rapid rate, with 90% of marketers saying they will continue to increase their direct online advertising budgets - and 15% saying they will “radically” increase online ad spend.

Moreover, some 78% of marketers say they will increase their social media spend; 74% say they will increase their direct email spend; and 65% say they will increase their mobile texting/SMS spend.

Overall, more than 40% of marketers have radically increased their budgets for online advertising from three years ago. Also…

  • Some 23% of all marketers surveyed say they have increased their spending on Google AdWords.
  • 26% of marketers say they have increased their direct email spending.
  • 60% said they have kept their text and SMS spending on par with spending three years ago.
  • In general, print advertising, direct mail and broadcast spend remained the same vs. three years ago

Additional Findings

  • Accountability pressure is growing: 86% of marketers say pressure has increased on them to account for results; no one said that the pressure has decreased. Moreover, 68% of organizations are measuring the quantifiable contribution of marketing to the bottom line.
  • Marketers believe they  are getting more effective - 64% say their marketing programs are more effective now than three years from ago.
  • Sales & Marketing are bridging the divide: More than 90% of marketers surveyed say the relationship between sales and marketing departments is OK or excellent, with 54% saying it has improved in the past three years, and 58% saying blame is shared equally.
  • Marketing budgets have increased over the past three year: 72% have had an increase in marketing budget, with nearly 50% increasing more than 10% and 11% increasing more than 50%
  • Marketers view prospects’ needs differently from their own: 60% say text messages are not effective for themselves, though they will increase their spending over the three years by 65%.
  • Marketing growth is continuing despite a down market: 95% say they will maintain or increase their marketing staff over the next three years.
  • Marketers are not always familiar with “do not track”  lists, but most would opt in:  32% of aren’t familiar with the list, but 47% support it - and 67% would opt in to it.

About the study: The Eloqua survey was conducted with nearly 200 US marketing professionals at companies covering a variety of industries and ranging in size from $10 to $500 million in annual revenues and including industries such as business and professional services, high technology, manufacturing, retail and hospitality.

May 22, 2008

NEWS: CBS Interactive Gets $2 Million Ad Buy From GM (CBS)

CBS Interactive Gets $2 Million Ad Buy From GM (CBS)

GM Volt 01_1.jpgA source tells us CBS Interactive just got an ad buy from GM in the $2.2 to $2.3 million range. The deal, with Starcom MediaVest unit GM Planworks, was reached earlier this week. Given the timing, the buy could be connected to a broader upfront deal. CBS declined to comment and hasn't yet announced whether any upfront talks, which are going on now, have resulted in a deal.

Assuming the deal goes through, it would mean CBS just got a little more than 1% of the $197 million GM spent on the Web last year. As Adage reported earlier this spring, GM plans to move half of its ad spending online by 2011. Last year the company spent a total of $3 billion on ads.

In March, CEO Les Moonves said the company sold $200 million in online advertising in 2007 and would book between $260 million and $280 million in 2008. That, however, was before theacquisition of CNET, which will help boost CBS's digital revenues to $1 billion by 2010 or 2011.

Related: GM Shifting 50% Of Ad Spending Online

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