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Microsoft and Newscorp - The story of the "Tortoise" & the "Hare"


If AdConion/Euroclick is the "Hare" in the great race then by now it should be seeing the "Tortoise" in the rear view mirror beginning to gather a little more pace and slowly but surely it must (also) see, that 'they' are now starting to play 'catch up'. 

That an offer by "News Corp. to buy Adconion, the German Ad Network?"  (& that the offer, made back in early 2008) had been turned down, may well have prompted Rupert Murdoch to build his own. (AdConion has since bought Joost, the consumer video service & has been said  'to be on a buying spree after their enormous VC round in February 2009, to expand in the U.S'.-
I make no secret in my strong belief that a corroboration between Microsoft (who bought Co's like aQuantive, the FAST Search [Atlas] and yet another in RAPT, a very clever technology Co) and Newscorp (who provided some 200 MySpace Engineers) then went about 'building' the Looksmart AdCenter to the scale that it is today. (See, this Link)
[ Added Nov. 30th - Note: The market was advised in an 8-K filed on May 12th that AdCenter was developed by MSN and - Read of that fact in this, 'current report'].

Yahoo then came to sit at the 'table' with it's Microsoft Search-Ad deal.- Newspapers around the world will mostly all get to fall into line, in time. - That others too can see what I had 'called for' (& some 5 years ago), is more than a little comforting.
There is no doubt (in my mind) that Tim Cadogen's OpenX is the "pea" to 'wave the flag' and get to be the strong link between publishers and Microsoft's AdECN Exchange.

[Note; Microsoft has since announced that AppNexus would be playing such a 'role' for it's Exchange premium buys. -]
 If (in my previous InstaBlog) I wrote of Marin Software as a Co that is laden with the 'right place' Investors, in having solid management and is one of the "chosen" kind, then LucidMedia (along with Looksmart) are yet another. (There are 'many' such 'hand-picked', I might add.)
Re; LucidMedia and AdConion, I found this article and a few thoughts in it, all of interest:
<Will ad networks have to build out their own buying platforms to survive? Is the UK ad network market too bloated? What effect will RTB have on the European display market?> 
< ...There are nearly eighty ad networks in the UK market. Is that number sustainable – and will the display market’s move towards a more measurable media buy signal the end of the middlemen and arbitragers? >
And, when asked the following question Mark Connolly (Commercial Director at  Adconion Media Group), was a little 'gun-shy' (with no mention at all, of LucidMedia), in his answer:
LucidMedia recently announced it was bringing its own DSP to market? Do you think ad networks will have to build out their own DSPs to survive?

MC: I think each ad network has the opportunity to define its own future. For Adconion, we’ve chosen to expand our product offering so we can offer brand marketers and advertisers solutions throughout the marketing funnel. At the top of the funnel, our video products combine the power of the moving image with the scale and targeting of the internet to create effective branding campaigns for our advertisers.

Mark Connolly, Adconion Commerical Director, Talks RTB, Ad Network ... ]
Since the Microsoft - Yahoo! 'deal' both Looksmart and LucidMedia come right into the picture. LucidMedia and Looksmart? Well, both were initial (Yahoo!) Right Media Exchange partners. And the Right Media Exchange will feature LucidMedia's patented ClickSense contextual advertising.
<Yes, and besides Looksmart, Fox Interactive Media, Six Apart, Tickle, Tribune, and WomensForum we had another that joined in, with the Entrieva ClickSense. Who has since changed it's name to LucidMedia..>
ALL, were initial partners (along with Yahoo) in the Right Media Exchange. Yahoo had bought an initial 20% and then acquired the other 80%.
LucidMedia are 'compatible' with Atlas Solutions as they clearly explain below (Microsoft adCenter advertising and) both will probably utilise the Looksmart private label for AdVertiser API, to come into the global marketplace totally 'blind' and fully transparent to all other players, on both the buy and sell side. As will all publisher players do so, including OpenX and a couple of other Giants, like Microsoft's AdECN and Google's own DoubleClick Exchanges. (Again, all, only an opinion).
There are certainly good times ahead for patient Looksmart shareholders and yes, there's no surprise that the "Tortoise" does get to beat the crap out of the "Hare" in my own story, as the race draws that much nearer to the 'start'/finish' line.
Welcome to LucidMedia, the contextual advertising platform of choice for the industry. We work with advertising networks, exchanges and publishers like you to ensure you gain a deep understanding of your inventory. Using our patented technology, we instantly analyze each page of your inventory, etc >
Benefits of the LucidMedia contextual platform:
  • Lift eCPMs with real-time contextual products
  • Improve performance with page-level categorization
  • Increase sell-through for under-utilized inventory
 A Network of Exchanges - April 16th, 2009 
< Q:  In your opinion, what will be some of the key drivers which will allow ad exchanges to progress from a remnant-only to a premium and remnant model?
A:  The key drivers will be their openness, a clear value proposition to the publishers, and their ability to support real-time bidding.  The exchange platforms have to be easily extensible so everyone can playAnd we’ll need the publisher side optimizers to keep advancing as well. 
They play a key roll that the exchanges are not filling today and they exert a great deal of pull on the publishers drawing them to the exchange model.  I expect to see a lot of interesting changes in the next few years and LucidMedia plans to be right in the middle of it all adding value to the agencies and advertisers. >
< [Yahoo's] Right Media, through an agreement with LucidMedia, has established 63 standard categories that publishers and advertisers can use today to target ads more effectively and maximize yield from their inventory.
This contextual technology is provided by LucidMedia. Together we have introduced highly targeted contextual display advertising across the Right Media Exchange.>  
Choosing the Right DSP  - 2/16/2010 
<Real-time bidding is the hot feature this year and a staple of the effective DSP. Now the combined capabilities of RTB-enabled DSPs built on the exchange model are replacing traditional ad networks with a new buy-side network paradigm that is more nimble, more economical and more in touch with advertiser goals.>
< In January 2009 we deployed the platform internally, effectively making it the industry’s first production RTB-enabled demand-side platform. Named ADvisor DSP™, LucidMedia has since executed hundreds of successful campaigns on the platform & is currently processing up to 45 billion impressions each month. This pioneering experience makes us uniquely qualified to access the necessary features of a successful RTB-enabled DSP initiative.>
<The right demand-side platform allows agencies to easily audit the networks and exchanges on their media plans, efficiently acquire page-level contextually and demographically targeted inventory, ensure brand safety across all sources and most importantly enforce a universal frequency cap. The new breed of DSP with integrated RTB gives agencies pre-impression filtering, post-impression auditing, and allows agencies to cherry-pick the most effective impressions in real time and then feed their campaigns with an optimization engine that automatically maximizes return on spend.>
< Intelligent Bidding: Smart bidding strategies are also critical to an agency’s bottom line. The DSP model promises that agencies can claim a larger slice of the ad spend dollar, moving it further and further away from the networks. But without intelligent and flexible bidding, that slice can be lost. Look for detailed graphing of bid price and win ratios and the tools to quickly adjust bidding per source. Look for RTB solutions efficient enough to drive bid costs below the $0.001 threshold.>
More Milestones  - 2/23/2010
< This weekend while many of you were sitting down to a quiet meal, LucidMedia was celebrating an historic milestone. One year ago LucidMedia processed our first real-time bid (RTB) impression. At precisely 6:45PM Eastern Time February 21st 2009 LucidMedia turned on the RTB engine in our demand-side platform (DSP) and began acquiring impressions in real-time. We have since processed tens of billions of impressions and the scale continues to grow
We are quite proud to be one of the pioneering companies behind the current real-time bid inventory acquisition wave that is sweeping our industry. And although we are a relatively new company, we are one of the first demand-side platforms operating today in what is rapidly becoming a crowded space. We saw very early, late in 2007 in fact, that advertisers needed more control and the DSP model was the future. Back then we did not call it a DSP though. It was simply a better kind of ad network where inter-mediation was streamlined, transparency was paramount, and brand safety was the dominant capability. Now it is the future of the ad network.>
The Universal Action Tag (UAT) is a javascript tracking pixel offered by Atlas, Doubleclick and some other ad servers.
Universal Action Tags | Agency Vendors - 24 Jun 2008 ... The Universal Action Tag (UAT) is a javascript tracking pixel offered by Atlas, Doubleclick and some other ad servers. ...
LucidMedia Launches ADvisor DSP, Demand-Side Platform with ...-  3 Feb 2010  Discrepancy management and reconciliation, Atlas Universal Action Tag (UAT) compliance, and intrinsic support for engaging rich media ...

[Yet another - PARTNERS - Adroit Interactive :: Delivering Online Advertising ... - Atlas Solutions. Adroit Interactive has been accepted into the Microsoft Atlas Universal Action Tag (UAT) program, a first for a third-party creative optimization]
LucidMedia Network offers
  1. Page level contextual targeting
  2. Demographic & behavioral targeting
  3. Deep transparency & accountability
  4. Safe access to the elusive “long-tail”
  5. Un-matched reach & contextual depth
  6. Patented contextualization engine

Disclosure: Long LOOK and happy to be so, too.