Despite resurgent online markets, AOL takes a serious hit to year-over-year revenues in the second quarter.
While many digital firms are seeing ad revenues rebound in 2010, AOL experienced a 27% year-over-year decline as of the second quarter of 2010. AOL has focused much of its revamped business model on digital advertising sales, but has dismissed the sharp drop in ad revenues as being a temporary consequence of its restructuring process.
Disney to make social media acquisition.
The Disney corporation has announced an agreement to buy Playdom, which produces social media games. This is the latest example of Disney jumping enthusiastically into social media; it has previously offered discounts via Twitter and provided games on Facebook.
Another month, another milestone for Facebook.
Facebook crossed the 500 million active users threshold last week. According to comScore, this places the social networking giant fourth among all websites, behind only Google (932 million), Microsoft (789 million), and Yahoo (622 million). What has analysts especially excited about Facebook is that the annual growth rate of its user base is estimated at 73%. Facebook is expected to bring in $1.1 billion in advertising revenue this year.
Paid search cooled in 2Q 2010 for major search engines.
Reflecting an economy which has seen a recovery start last year but show signs of stalling recently, paid search took a step back in the second quarter despite impressive year-over-year growth. According to SearchIgnite, Google saw paid search decline by 0.8% in the second quarter, but it still grew by 15.9% year-over-year. Microsoft's Bing managed 26% growth year-after-year, despite a 9.6% decline in the second quarter.
Local search delivers customers for businesses.
On the heels of a recent comScore study that showed a 90% increase in local searches, Kantar Media's Compete has released the results of a survey which showed that one out of three smartphone users had been led to a retailer by a local search. Industry insiders say that retailers should reconfigure their Web sites to take maximum advantage of local search.
Adobe seeks to defend strong online ad share.
According to figures from comScore, 40% of all online display ads use Adobe's Flash and rich media. The challenge for Adobe will be to maintain this high share as Apple mobile devices gain popularity, since Apple has balked at enabling Flash on its devices.
Direct marketing profit outlook reflects touch-and-go state of the economic recovery.
A report on profits for the first quarter of 2010 by the Direct Marketing Association and the Winterberry Group indicates that the economic recovery remains iffy, with only about half of respondents reporting year-over-year profit growth. This includes 48% of direct marketing firms, and 54% of marketing service providers. On the optimistic side, this is the strongest figure in two years, and over 50% of marketing firms and 57% of service providers expect profit growth for the second quarter.