SLIDE INC. will make ads available to its widgets, starting today. Slide is the #1 online widget maker, and will make the ads “user-initiated” — meaning, site publishers can decide if they want to turn on the widgets ads. The company is hoping that users will actually like having ads in their widgets. For the model to work, advertisers and their agencies will have to create ads that somehow enhance the user experience, rather than disrupting it. Viacom, Paramount Pictures, AT&T, and the Discovery Channel have all signed up to offer widget ads.
NOKIA has decided to use MICROSOFT‘s PlayReady copy-protection software to enable the sharing of protected mobile media. Nokia will build PlayReady into its S60 software, which is the most widely used software platform for cellphones. The deal is expected to increase the range of content available to consumers, with definite plans for mobile TV. Chadd Knowlton, general manager for content access and protection at Microsoft, told Reuters that mobile TV will soon be “much more mainstream than today’s entertainment features.” Nokia is the world’s largest cellphone maker.
CONDE NAST has been building an online video library. Concierge.com, a Conde Nast site, has a 57-video series of Insider Guides, for users seeking information on travel destinations. The company hopes to build up a large collection of videos for its many sites, which can then be monetized. Current plans include 10-15 second pre-roll ads to be inserted – but not during every play. Some videos are as short as 30 seconds, so ads will only run during every few videos seen by a user. Conde Nast is expected to announce video sponsorships in August.
PUBLICIS is making a strong push into targeted ads, looking to transform advertising from a mass medium into a personalized medium. To accomplish this, Publicis plans a global digital ad network that uses offshore labor to create thousands of versions of ads. Algorithms will select which ad to show each user, based on customer data. The company is focusing on emerging markets. “There’s a chance to invest right now in China, India, Russia and Brazil, which will pay off big over the next five years,” said David Kenny, the chief executive of Digitas. “These economies are going to boom, and ads there are going to go directly to mobile and directly to the Internet.” The emerging economies are also an important source of low-cost production labor needed to create thousands of variations of one spot.
BLOGGERS are looking to unionize, seeking health benefits, collective bargaining power, and the establishment of professional standards. The union is also seen as a possible way to legitimize, and thus receive press credentials. Members of the growing community have been looking into starting their own organization, but have also been approached by existing labor unions. The online writers gathered last week to discuss the plans at the YearlyKos Convention for bloggers in Chicago.