Quick Hits and Interesting Bits

Homezone to Formally Launch

Intended for markets where there’s no fiber-optic infrastructure, AT&T’s Homezone satellite TV/Internet service is set to officially launch in Ohio and San Antonio. Here’s more on Homezone and AT&T’s deal with Akimbo. Yahoo! may also stand to ultimately benefit from AT&T’s rollout.

We’ll have to see how consumers respond and the content/services that Homezone and U-Verse (the fiber-optic version) offer. Here’s a very strange demo video (windows media) of the interface, which must be from a trade show.

Mobile Marketing Opt-in for College Students

Here’s an interesting article on a mobile ad program: opt-in advertising for college students on cellphones. The program is being run by a company called Campus Media Group, which offers marketing services to advertisers targeting high school and college students. A few interesting bits from the article:

At this point, 3 million students have opted in to receive messages under the Campus Media Group program . . . 80 percent of responses to offers delivered via cell phones occur within the first hour after the student receives it. Campaigns have a response rate of 6 to 9 percent, with some campaigns having responses as high as 30 to 60 percent, according to Ovum 2004, published by Ovum, a telecom industry research group, and College Recruiter 2004, published by Minneapolis-based AdGuide.

Fathom: Keyword Prices Down

Search marketing firm Fathom Online said that Q2 keyword prices fell again:

In the second quarter of 2006, the average price that advertisers bid for keywords on search engines dropped 8.6 percent from $1.39 on March 31 to $1.27 on June 30. That drop follows a three percent drop in Q1 2006 to $1.39 from $1.43 at the end of 2005, according to the Fathom Online Keyword Price Index.

Keyword spending very much shows the impact of seasonality.

Search Volumes Grow, So Do Shares of the ‘Big Three’

Per comScore:

In June 2006, Google gained in search market share for the eleventh consecutive month and maintained its status as market leader with 44.7 percent of searches conducted on its sites. Yahoo! remained in second place while increasing its share to 28.5 percent, and MSN ranked third with 12.8 percent.

  • Americans conducted 6.4 billion searches in June 2006, a 6-percent decline from May 2006 (6.8 billion searches), but a 29-percent increase over June 2005 (5.0 billion searches).
  • Google Sites led in search query volume with 2.9 billion searches conducted, followed by Yahoo! Sites (1.8 billion) and MSN-Microsoft Sites (818 million).
  • Google and Yahoo! continue to dominate the toolbar search market. Google grabbed 49.6 percent of toolbar searches, while Yahoo! captured 46.1 percent.

Home Depot Becomes a Home Improvement Advertising Vertical

From the press release:

With demand for online media soaring, homedepot.com will offer select vendor partners the chance to reach more than 4 million consumers each week with compelling content targeted to the home improvement customer. When consumers click on the ads on homedepot.com, they will enter an advertiser’s branded site. They will experience interactive demos, streaming video, and in-depth product content that will increase the customer’s knowledge and level of engagement . . . With over 2.5 billion page views annually, homedepot.com receives more traffic than any other online destination in the home and garden category. In addition, advertisers will be able to buy ads in homedepot.com’s various email newsletters, which have over 6 million opt-in subscribers.

They’ll be arbitraging Google and Yahoo! paid search advertising, offering the proposition of a vertical destination — more targeted leads — and should be able to command a potential premium of advertisers. Here’s more on the program.

Smart move or Greed2.0?

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