- Microsoft Expanding Advertiser Participation for adCenter Content Ads - This week, a number of Microsoft adCenter advertisers in the U.S. will receive an e-mail notification that their accounts will be upgraded as part of the adCenter Content Ads pilot program. Those who are selected will automatically be upgraded to include distribution on content pages within the Microsoft network. Advertisers whose campaigns are upgraded will have control over their campaigns and have the following choices: 1.) the ability to run ads on Live Search and content pages using “hybrid” ad groups, 2.) turn off Content Ads, or 3.) create content-only and search-only ad groups. If you do nothing then your ads will automatically run on the Content network. Therefore if you do not want to participate in Microsoft’s contextual advertising, best to log in to your account and opt out. Like AdWords, should you choose to run your ads on content pages, you’ll also have the ability to set separate pricing for content clicks. Complete details available at the adCenter Blog.
- Viacom Sues YouTube / Google for $1 Billion - MSNBC reports that MTV owner Viacom has sued YouTube and its corporate parent Google in federal court for alleged copyright infringement and is seeking more than $1 billion in damages. Viacom claims that the more than 160,000 unauthorized video clips from its cable networks, which also include Comedy Central, VH1 and Nickelodeon, have been available on the popular video-sharing Web site. So how does Viacom really feel about YouTube? In lashing out at YouTube’s business practices, they were quoted as saying YouTube has “built a lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others’ creative works in order to enrich itself and its corporate parent Google.” Furthermore they said YouTube’s business model, “which is based on building traffic and selling advertising off of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws.” This is the biggest lawsuit to hit Google in its short history.
- Microsoft Acquires Tellme Networks – What has been rumored for the last couple of weeks has finally come to pass. Microsoft will acquire Tellme Networks, a leading provider of voice services for everyday life, including nationwide directory assistance, enterprise customer service and voice-enabled mobile search. Apparently it is a match made in heaven as both companies share the same vision around the potential of speech as a way to enable access to information, locate other people and enhance business processes, any time and from any device. “Speech is universal, simple and holds incredible promise as a key interface for computing,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Tellme brings to Microsoft the talent, technology and proven experience in speech that will enable us to deliver a new wave of products and revolutionize human-computer interaction.” The purchase price was undisclosed in the official Microsoft press release but is estimated to be in the $800 million range.
- Google Mobile Phone Rumored Confirmed – Engadget reports that Isabel Aguilera, Google’s chief executive in Spain and Portugal, has admitted that they have some mobile phone in the works but appeared to play down the project, noting that the phone is just one of 18 R&D initiatives the company currently has underway. She also noted that Google’s mobile phone project is designed to make its way into developing countries, suggesting that this may not be something that will compete here in the U.S.