Cashing Out: Week of June 24th – 30th 2012 in Online Marketing News

Major sites knocked offline with Amazon cloud outage

Instagram, Netflix and Pinterest were down for several hours this week, due to power outages at Amazon Web Services data centers, the New York Times reported June 30. The outages were caused by a heavy storm in North Virginia which caused power failure for two million people, as well as six deaths.

Though the results certainly weren’t as catastrophic for users of AWS-dependent sites as they were for residents in the areas affected by the storm, many were nonetheless inconvenienced.

“There goes the weekend!” quipped a humorous TechCrunch article, which mused “If someone takes an iPhone pic of a Friday night artisanal beer, and it’s not posted on Instagram, does it make a sound?”

At the time of writing, affected services that aren’t already up and running again are at least regaining functionality.

As shares slip, Zynga announces new games, network and partners program

Zynga had a lot of news to share at their latest press conference June 26. The social gaming company announced future plans for a new, social-focused gaming network, dubbed “Zynga with Friends”, a “central network designed to help you find new people to play against, keep track of scores and interact socially with other players,” reports Mashable.

Along with that news, Zynga also released the titles of some of the new games it has in the works, including Matching With Friends, The Ville, and Farmville 2.

As part of this strong emphasis on social, Zynga will be introducing a new chat feature, multiplayer format, and social stream and friends’ lobby where players can check each-others’ progress, challenges, and who else is available to play.

Meanwhile, the company also has a new partners program in the pipeline, reports TechCrunch. Atari, Phosphor Games and Crash Lab are among Zynga’s initial third-party game developer partners.

But as a separate TechCrunch article noted, there’s some less positive news that Zynga didn’t share at the June 26 event. Namely, in the period following Facebook’s May IPO, the company’s shares have fallen more than 30 percent. And though shares briefly rose the morning of their press conference, they sold off by late morning.

“It’s possible that investors wanted something more certain about the future of Zynga’s online gambling and casino revenues [though] Zynga did make a number of announcements that are supportive of its earnings over the next six months,” writes TechCrunch.

NASDAQ trading systems investigated after Facebook IPO

The Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) has opened an investigation into NASDAQ’s role in the Facebook IPO, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported June 26.

The issue is with NASDAQ’s trading systems, and whether or not the exchange adequately tested them before they failed during Facebook’s stock market debut in May. In addition, as the New York Times (NYT) reported last week, there are also questions as to whether NASDAQ “violated rules when it rewrote computer code to jump-start trading.”

The NYT reports that the investigation is just one of a dozen related cases across different exchanges, in which the SEC is examining a potential lack of necessary controls and favoritism toward “select investors.”

The news comes at the same time as a report from PrivCo, which found June 2012 was the worst month for IPO in the U.S. since 2008.

Google Analytics focuses on mobile

June 29, Google announced a new tool that will help developers gain better insight into the performance of their mobile apps.

The free Mobile App Analytics tool is set to launch in Beta on July 6, reports Mashable, and is designed to cover “the three main stages of an app’s relationship with users — acquisition and user metrics, engagement, and outcome,” says TechCrunch.

Google also announced that they would be releasing Google Analytics Android App, which would allow users to view data about both websites and mobile apps from a mobile device. And, according to TechCrunch, Google Analytics Team Product Manager JiaJing Wang says they are “definitely thinking” about releasing an iOS app.

AOL’s Devil ads go mobile

In the almost two years since launching their premium Devil ad format, AOL hasn’t really made any changes to them. But now, as AdExchanger reports, Devil ads are going mobile.

The the display ad units were originally designed to be content-centric, with the capacity to feature over 20 different types of content, like photo galleries, video, social integration, store locators, and content feeds. Now, as Devil ads come to tablets and smartphones, the question is not so much why, nut why hasn’t it been done until now.

Variations in screen size across different devices, and the limits of smaller screens have been major issues, but content-management system Pictela, which AOL owns, seems to have provided the solution:

“One of the gating factors for mobile has been our inability to deliver dynamic creative within limited real estate […] Pictela brings to the table a powerful and scalable platform which crosses screens. We are encouraged at the development and look forward to pioneering on the platform,” AdAge quoted Universal McCann CMO David Cohen as saying.

The new mobile ad format may not be the answer to all of AOL’s prayers, but it may just get the once ubiquitous web company back up to speed, says AdExchanger:

“CEO Tim Armstrong, following the company’s Q1 earnings call in May, told us that he was looking to get the display revenue sales back on track, suggesting that things might improve by the end of the year.”

New music deal helps boost Yahoo media

In what TechCrunch is calling “a new chapter for Yahoo music,” the ailing internet company announced a global deal June 26 with music streaming service Spotify that may breathe some new life into a company that has fallen from its once lofty position.

Spotify will be integrated into and promoted on the Yahoo Media Network, while the Spotify platform will introduce a Yahoo app. “The deal will see Spotify first rolling out to Yahoo Music. Later it will also start appearing in other verticals within the media network, including Yahoo Movies and omg!,” writes TechCrunch.

While the deal seems mutually beneficial, there’s at least one party that probably isn’t too thrilled about the whole thing – Rhapsody. Until now, they’ve been Yahoo’s music streaming partner, but are getting the boot in order to accommodate newcomer Spotify. But to be fair, notes TechCrunch, the new deal “represents a much wider-ranging agreement than the one Rhapsody had with Yahoo since 2008.”

This week in marketing studies and reports:

For 17 percent of Americans, cellphones are most used way of going online

According to a June 26 report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 17 percent of U.S. adults who own cellphones use their mobile device more than any other to go online.

70 percent watch video on alternative devices, mostly PCs

Data from NPD, reported on by TechCrunch June 27, found that 70 percent of consumers view video on a device other than a TV, though TVs are still the most used device for watching television. According to the report, the most popular alternative to TV for viewing video is the PC, while tablets still only account for 15 percent of TV viewing.

333 percent year-over-year increase on mobile search spend

Based on figures from IgnitionOne, Econsultancy reported June 28 that U.S. spending on mobile search grew by 333 percent between Q2 2011 and Q2 2012. Econsultancy also noted that, year-over-year, impressions increased 130 percent and clicks increased 325 percent.

Under half of companies lack mobile marketing integration

In their Cross-Channel Marketing Report for 2012, Econsultancy found that just 49 percent of companies “have a strategy for integrating mobile into broader marketing activity, including 35% who say integration is very basic.”

Moreover, 51 percent of companies say they are not working on integrating mobile into their campaigns.

Facebook’s biggest brand fans are moms

Mashable reported June 29 on a survey from Burst Media that found moms make up the consumer group most likely to follow a favorite brand on Facebook, and that “moms and 18-34-year-olds particularly influenced by brand mentions” on social media.


About Emily Wilkinson

Emily Wilkinson is a Montreal writer and editor who recently joined Her experience comes largely from her work at print publications like La Scena Musicale, where she alternated between positions as content manager, copy editor and journalist.
She believes in the importance of strong writing, be it in journalism or in other media, like blogging or even social networking. Her prerogative: though language will and ought to evolve, a good writer need never sacrifice the communicative power of text that is written with thought and care, whatever the venue.
Find Emily on Twitter @EditorWilkinson

One Response to Cashing Out: Week of June 24th – 30th 2012 in Online Marketing News

  1. Good article-will follow you!