Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Google, T-Mobile, Give AOL a Hand and a Big Check

Apple (AAPL), Research In Motion (RIMM) and Google (GOOG) are duking it out for consumers’ smartphone dollars this fall. But here’s an early winner: Time Warner’s (TWX) AOL, which has just landed a giant contract to push Google’s G1 phone for the next two days.

Wireless carrier T-Mobile, which is selling the phone in the U.S., is launching a big push on AOL’s Platform A ad network today. It has agreed to buy a billion impressions today and tomorrow, reports AdAge.

Reporter Michael Learmonth talks to industry sources who think the buy could cost T-Mobile around $1.5 million, which would work out to a cost per thousand of $1.50. Ad folks I talk to think that number sounds high, and guesstimate that the CPM will be closer to the $1 to $1.10 range.

But no matter what the number is, the campaign will be a win for AOL. Anything approaching $1 million over two days will be well-received at the company, which saw ad revenues drop six percent in the last quarter.

And the fact that AOL can offer an advertiser a billion impressions in two days also points out how the ad network business is supposed to work: Gather lots of Web sites and offer their combined inventory to advertisers, who can buy a lot of eyeballs at a discount. Now AOL just needs a lot more of these, fast.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik