Source: "Oxydol Ad", Women's Journal

This Native Advertising Campaign is Older Than You

The term “native advertising” is trending around the world from Wallstreet to the present day Mad Men ad agencies. Although the term is relatively new, native advertising has been around since the 1930′s.

The term native advertising is generally described as a piece of sponsored content or media that looks and feels like the rest of the experience. If that is the definition you use, Procter & Gamble may have invented native advertising in 1927 when trying to sell Oxydol via radio:

Source: Procter & Gamble

Source: Procter & Gamble

Oxydol soap was created in 1914 and purchased by Procter & Gamble in 1927. P&G sponsored the Ma Perkins Radio Show and heavily promoted Oxydol to reach women. This moment in advertising put the “soap” in “soap operas”:

Is there another old example of native advertising you enjoy? Please comment below.

Sincerely,
The Revenue.com Team

The Bezos Post: Exploring the reasons behind The Washington Post purchase

Today, The Washington Post was purchased by Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos. This purchase comes in a time where many old print media companies are having a challenging time adding subscribers, monetizing with advertising and maneuvering into the new digital age. In general, it is a time where incumbents in TV, Radio and Print are taking a hard look in the mirror and re-evaluating their position in our lives.

Many fear the Washington Post will drastically change. Chances are it won't any time soon.

Many fear the Washington Post will drastically change. Chances are it won’t any time soon.

Many people have been speculating for the reasons behind Bezos’ acquisition of the Washington Post. The reasons range from purchasing influence in Washington to having something to play with. Purchasing influence may be a valid potential reason – last year Amazon.com spent millions of dollars lobbying Washington. However, as Amazon.com and Jeff Bezos charge towards the media industry with infrastructure, software and hardware products – the reason probably lies herein.

Jeff Bezos has been investing very heavily in the trio (infrastructure, software and hardware) in order to build the future. Although Amazon.com is not the direct owner of The Post, one could expect to see The Washington Post being affiliated in some shape or form with an Amazon.com premium subscription.

The Amazon.com’s subscription model via Amazon Prime seems to be the apex of the business. Amazon books – Amazon’s legacy business model – has drastically shifted to ebooks in the last few years. Guess what? 350,000 of those books are free if you sign up to Amazon Prime. Amazon invested heavily in hardware building the Kindle. So much so, that they were selling the hardware at a cost. Bezos figures the media on the Kindle will make that money back. Guess what? Sign up to Prime and you get unlimited streaming and 41, 000 episodes. Bezos has taken every revenue stream from Amazon and baked it into Amazon Prime subscriptions.

The most interesting aspect of the deal is that one of the most iconic newspaper brands that has been unable to grow subscriptions has been acquired by the creator of the mega-subscription – Amazon Prime. The subscription service that lets you buy groceries faster and rent books, watch movies for “free”.

This is not a random deal. This is part of a greater strategy to centralize convenience across e-commerce and media. Turning a newspaper around from a dying asset to a media powerhouse will take time. With the growth of user generated content, bloggers, writers, video producers and Amazon’s perpetually growing cloud – one could also imagine a spill over in business and brand affiliation from The Post.

Why didn’t Amazon.com buy The Washington Post? One could speculate that Bezos simply did not want to deal with impatient public shareholders constantly asking for a return on their investment. Thus buying it himself in a private transaction.

One thing is for certain, this deal is not Bezos’ last, it is part of a series of calculated bet on where the future is going. Capturing audiences at the right place, the right time and engaging, informing or entertaining them – something the Post has done very well for years.

To all our friends at the Post. We trust your great coverage will continue and wish you the best. As long as you entertain, engage and inform – the future will be prime for success.

Over 70% of online publishers use Native Advertising

Native Advertising is everywhere.

“Native advertising” was one of the leading buzzwords in the tech space in 2012. It keeps making waves in 2013 as publishers see an actual benefit of using native advertising to monetize their audiences.

On July 10, 2013, eMarketer released a study where 73% of online publishers claim to use native advertising to monetize their audiences. Only 10% of the publishers stated they did not use native advertising and were not planning to use native advertising in the near future.

73% of publishers use native advertising

73% of publishers use native advertising

For consumers, this means that more likely than not you have seen a native advertisement without even knowing it. For advertisers, this means that now there are publishers across a multitude of verticals where the right audience can be reached. For agencies, it is important to be able to define native advertising for clients.

What is the definition of Native Advertising? 

One of the main problems with Native Advertising is that there is a lot of noise on what Native Advertising actually is. When the banner ad was rolled out, it was easy to explain – it’s an ad unit that fits within this 300 x 250 space. With native advertising, it seems as though there is a very broad description.

Facebook sponsored stories as In Stream Ads are regarded as native ad units:

native advertising on Facebook

In Stream Ads on Facebook

Twitter’s promoted tweets are also native ads:

promoted tweets

Promoted Tweets on Twitter

The Atlantic’s In Stream Ads have also been categorized as native ads:

The Atlantic has In Stream Ads

Native ads on The Atlantic

eMarketer asked US publishers to define Native advertising. There was a multitude of options:

  1. Integration into the design of the publisher’s site and lives on the same domain
  2. Content either provided by, produced in conjunction with or created on behalf of our advertisers that runs within the editorial stream
  3. Clear delineation and labeling as advertising content
  4. Editorial value to the reader and conforms to the reader’s expectations
  5. Contextually relevant, nonstandard advertising units
  6. Content marketing such as sponsored games, infographics, sites, etc.
  7. Highly automated advertising content such as sponsored stories, publisher tweets, etc.

93% of US Publishers surveyed agreed that #1 – Integration into the design of the publisher’s site and lives on the same domain . On the lower end, only 54% of US publishers believed sponsored stories and publisher tweets to be truly “native advertising” ad formats. Below are the numbers on the survey:

How do US Publisher's define "Native Advertising"?

How do US Publisher’s define “Native Advertising”?

It seems as though what we can agree to disagree on is a clear and concise definition of native advertising. At VIRURL we believe that whichever way you define “native advertising” the focus must be on the user experience.

On July 3, 2013 Forbes ran an article by Lori Kozlowski on the Future of Content: How to Improve Ads on the Web and quoted Lee Fentress, VIRURL’s Chief Revenue Officer, saying “I think our new tagline will be Engage, Inform, Entertain”. At VIRURL, we believe there is a huge opportunity in providing a positive experience through the relevancy and entertainment of sponsored content. It is about finding the right piece of sponsored content for the right user at the right time. No easy task but we believe with the right team, the right technology this will be The Next Big Thing. Fun fact: Did you know Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of TV and Broadcasting) selected Virurl as The Next Big Thing in November 2012.

It is clear that display banner ad spending is not going anywhere. Agencies and brands at local and national levels are projected to increase display spending year over year. However, it is still interesting to see a relatively “new” ad format gain so much buzz and traction in a short time period. eMarketer with data from BIA/Kelsey recently estimated that by 2017, the native advertising market will grow to $4.57 billion. That is more than the $3 billion spent in display ads in 2012.

Display ads versus banner ads

Display ads versus banner ads

One thing is for certain, native advertising is not going anywhere. From the looks of it online marketers are adding native advertising to their multi-channel strategies as they have recently adapted to adding social advertising spends, banner ad spends or even search ppc in the past.

Native advertising is present when you’re drinking your morning coffee and reading your favorite online newspaper. Native advertising is in front of you when you seek your local mid-day news report. Native advertising is everywhere. Regardless of whether people can agree on a definition of native advertising – one thing is for certain – the need for high quality branded content is on the rise as is the need for a native advertising technology to find the right audience.

At VIRURL we’re excited about this massive opportunity. If you’re interested in joining our team or have any questions on native advertising please use the contact form below

Johnnie Walker ads reclaimed by Brazilians.

Brazilian protesters reclaim ads

First a crash course on what reappropriation is.

Reappropriation occurs when a group reclaims symbols or words and transforms them for their cause. The term is often used in anthropology and sociology to explain how subcultures transform symbols and words to their benefit.

A couple examples are:

1) The word nerd. Initially used to put down people who were more studious and anti-social compared to their counterparts. One can argue that now the word nerd is used by hobbyists, intellectuals and in many cases has positive connotations.

reappropriation of nerds

Nerds empowering themselves.

2) Madonna re-appropriating Christian art. Madonna turns Christian symbols into taboo in her videos. The reappropriation of these symbols to her own use is an example of reappropriation.

reappropriation of symbols

Madonna using Christian symbols

A couple days ago, the biggest example we’ve seen in reappropriation within the advertising industry occurred. This week Brazilian protesters took symbols from FIAT and Johnnie Walker campaigns and morphed the ads to suit their social cause.

In a nutshell, many Brazilians have become upset because massive stadiums that cost Brazilian taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars are being built at the same time public transportation is becoming more expensive and doctors do not have sufficient resources to take care of the sick. Many Brazilians are uprising against this.

Protesters used the FIAT’s “Come to the street” (“Vem para a rua”) song in the video. Leo Burnett‘s clever song has resonated with Brazilians so much that it is now part of the core material of the uprising. The song by FIAT was initially made to celebrate the Confederation Cup but has since taken a life of its own.

Not only is the video being used in protestor’s collateral but it has taken a vibrant shape on twitter under the hashtag #vemprarua.

Protestor’s have also seized symbols from Johnnie Walker’s advertisement. The original advertisement shows a mountain waking up, hence the name, “The giant woke up” (“O gigante acordou”). Parts of the footage and the twitter hashtag #ogiganteacordou have been reappropriated by the protestors and lighting up on social media.

The ingenious advertisement was created by BBH.

Here is the footage the protestors put together with both FIAT’s and Johnnie Walker’s symbols:

When advertisement’s symbols are reclaimed by a repressed group and reclaimed to drive a social cause – this may be the ultimate award for any agency. It can only mean that the images, symbols and footage are so powerful that is being used by the repressed.

The agencies obviously got more than they bargained for and, irregardless, of whether they condone the protests or not – they are very emotional campaigns – and for that the industry should tip their hats.

The protests, symbols and images have drummed up enough support from global media that Brazil is making changes. The president recently announced that all oil royalties would be given to education and that public transportation will get cheaper not more expensive.

We hope no one is hurt during these protests and that our friends in Brazil receive what is fair in peace. It seems as though the social uprising worked and, in this case, the reappropriation of ads worked.

This is the point of advertising – to create impulse and emotion.

Virurl launches In Stream Ads

We recently announced the launch of VIRURL‘s latest product – In Stream Ads. These ad units allow publishers of all sizes to earn revenue from posting relevant sponsored content directly to their blogs. The result is an “ad unit” that is contextual and unobtrusive to the audience, while looking beautiful on all devices.

virurl

 

 

Content publishers using VIRURL’s technology receive an email once a relevant sponsored post matches their blog’s audience. The publisher controls what is pushed through and advertised on their blog based on content, budget and cost per click.

How to try In Stream Ads: 

  1. Sign up to VIRURL
  2. Submit your WordPress or Tumblr’s details
  3. Wait for VIRURL admin to approve your blog
  4. Click on Post to Blog when you receive an email from us that you would like to earn revenue from!

virurl instream

 

Get paid every two weeks via Pay Pal. It’s that easy.

Read more about VIRURL in the press:

VIRURL launches RSS Ads on Techcrunch

The $20 Ad Campaign on Businessweek

VIRURL: Sponsored Content on Marketing Tech Blog

Going Viral: A Startup Monetizing Content for Publishers

Marketplace for Good Content on Technorati

Spotlight on VIRURL on All Voices

Future of Advertising and Content Monetization (transcript part one)

On Thursday, May 9th VIRURL held an event called the Future of Advertising and Content Monetization with VIRURL Chairman and founder of MSNBC.com Merrill Brown and the following panelists:

  • Francisco Diaz-Mitoma Jr., cofounder and CEO, VIRURL
  • Scott Lenet, managing partner, DFJ Frontier
  • Keyvan Peymani, managing director digital strategy division, ICM Partners
  • Malcolm Casselle, CEO, Mediapass

Merrill Brown: What is the future of content monetization?

Malcolm Casselle: 25 billion songs downloaded on iTunes and we can see very clearly the trend. Their spending all their time in front of not just one but a second and third (computer) screen.

It doesn’t feel like buying Now that buying isn’t always about putting your credit card in but clicking the button, clicking buy.   .  It doesn’t feel like you are spending money and that’s really changed things.  Now that you have 25 billion songs downloaded on iTunes and we can see very clearly the trend that people are spending all their time in front of not just one but a second and third (computer) screen.   With all that time spent in front of the screen friction for purchasing coming down. People we want to start charging for things. Another reality because businesses can charge, it means the guys that charge (for advertising) make radically larger profits than those who don’t.  The difference you can make on advertising on a per page basis V.S.  A paid subscription on a per basis is 110X, 200X to 1000X.  We see it every day.  The guys who  charge are going to create better content and then they are going to then have more subscribers they have superior business models.  Guys with superior business models win.  What it means are the guys left not charging are screwed. That’s the business model we see trending.  Most advertising is concentrated; most ad revenue goes to the top 50 guys.  What does that mean?  Well that means the long tail, the other 10% is spread thinly across a lot of other sites and they can’t survive.

Merrill Brown: So the takeaway is that if you are launching a content business you better have a subscription strategy or your future is murky. 

Malcolm Casselle: Subscriptions are not the only way to think of it. Premium is another model, there are certain models that you can use to monetize, and advertising is the one people go for.   You see people working with free services, the drop boxes and so forth but we are also seeing it for content.  And I’m really coming in at a content point because I think services people already get.

Francisco Diaz-Mitoma Jr.:  So I agree with some of the things said but I also disagree with many of the things said in terms of having to charge for better content or only the paid content is the best but that’s not a question.

Where I’m coming for on this whole issue and content monetizing is strictly from growing up with the Internet. For example, being on Myspace and starting to avoid the banner ads.  I am not the only one. Eye tracking studies have been done, that show people are avoiding the ads and consistently banner ad engagement has gone down.  Our company Virurl challenging this, it’s taking that banner space that is generally avoided and placing content that does one of two things 1) that informs the audience or 2) entertains the audience and that has been our mission.  We see that as a business model and a great philosophy to base a company on because it’s everlasting. It is not that challenge you can solve overnight.  No company will ever solve it, because predicting what kind of content to suggest is a very complex challenge.

Merrill Brown: To follow up, the premise of your thesis is the old models are broken whether it’s subscription, premium or ad based and it’s something new and different like you’re doing with VIRURL.  It’s where things are going.

Francisco Diaz-Mitoma Jr.: Absolutely.  Content monetization is being reinvented across the board.  The great content for example on Netflix, the house of cards which people are willing to pay for because it’s that premium, it’s that good content and that’s a relatively new way to monetize content which is interesting.  The advertising base content monitization is also changing with companies that are focusing on this native advertising space.

Keyvan Peymani: Right now there is not one thesis that is right. It is really all grays because of the think ecosystem that exists today.  This ecosystem still generates billions of dollars, not only revenues but profits and it works together, it feeds each other.   It’s why so many new business models are hard to get off the ground. It’s hard to get marketing of the ground because you have this entrenched system that feeds each other.   On the flip side, you have what I think is one of the most exciting things coming out of youtube and that is the ability of content generators to start a business. The fact that they can get there and entertain billions of views a week and can engage an audience means that we are in this really fascinating space where you can start to build business models that are on a user generated models.

At the same time the big media companies are trying to figure out how to migrate their current business models.

Thesis:  We are in an environment now where contextualization that leads through engagement that leads to some kind of activation is the fundamental underpinning that is going to drive a business.

Merrill Brown: Please clarify contextualization.

Keyvan Peymani: Three answers I would give to that.  The first is the message must be absolutely targeted.  It’s finding the right person with the message at the moment that they would be inclined to care about the message.  Secondly, contextualization means narrative. Reading a story about a bunch of things and the ad unit is giving you another piece of the story.  And lastly the thing contextualization means to me is business model.

What’s the takeaway from that for the entrepreneurs in the room? I think the take away is you have multiple bites of the apple, you have multiple business models that are built into you system.  You have to measure which ones your user base is actually gravitating towards and measure ruthlessly.

Merrill Brown: Do you think the era of free content is over?

Keyvan Peymani:  I don’t think it’s as black and white, to say that if you’re a (free) content publisher you expect the views to make up for it. But a blogger who gives away all their content today to a massive readership can then turnaround and create a million dollar book deal with Harper Collins tomorrow.  That model for that you could argue was built on free trading. It is really contextualized in the broader sense on how do you plan to drive monetization off your intellectual property if you want to make it just that.

Scott Lenet: My Thesis would be there are two types of content good enough to pay for.  You can make money on all the rest of it.  I think the You Tube example is an interesting one but as a venture capitalist we don’t usually invest in content. It’s an interesting notion.  How do you tell what type of content is good enough.

Merrill Brown: That is an inadequate answer in that it really doesn’t really offer the entrepreneurs in the room or even the panel on what it feels like to you as an investor.  Would you consider investing in something where the publisher has all his or her content free on the web and is dependent on the web?

Scott Lenet: I absolutely would.  The way you describe contextualization is probably exactly the way we think about it. There is an element of a business model, there is a way you can say if there is something that is premium, is a lost leader in some way in order to get to another model.  That is something we can do and have done.  An example I would give is our investment in a company, Boom Studios.  Boom Studios doesn’t give away their content for free, they sell Boom comic books. They are sold digitally on the web. They don’t make a tremendous amount of profit in those comic books. A typical series they might start might be four issues.  Some of them might make money some of them might make a lot of money and some of them might lose a little bit of money or break even.  But when that property then gets marketed in Hollywood as a feature film or television show, bought up and moved through the chain then they can make a lot of money.  That’s the interesting model. You know making movies is like playing lottery.  If someone came to me with a movie script I wouldn’t back that as a venture capitalist but if there is a machine for making great comic books and you will be able to consistently put that machine through the system.  We fund that.

Merrill Brown: Great, Thanks.  A year or two ago the hot buzzword around the world we live in was solomo – social, local, mobile – today the hot word is native advertising. We have to give the group here today a view of native advertising and how we approach it and think about it.  How do you think of native advertising at Mediapass?

Malcolm Casselle: I think of native advertising as part of a supply chain and that we need to figure out the value of that supply chain.

I actually enjoy native advertising.  Native advertising to me is like being at Whole Foods at the checkout counter and clicking on sponsored content. I actually enjoy looking through them.  I click on them much more than I ever would a banner ad.

Scott Lenet: Is native ad advertising in your mind limited to that type of material?

Francisco Diaz-Mitoma Jr: That is not native advertising that is strictly lead generation disguised as native advertising. When I think of native advertising, the best way I can describe it is by providing an example.  It’s an experience.  You bounce around a blog, lets say 3 to 4 different blogs about skiing and you have now learned how to wax your skies, you have seen the ski conditions.  You have done all these things but within a contextual experience.

What you describe is an issue the advertising agencies are having an issue with.  It affects us all within this room, when you are on the internet you see a little thumbnail that you want to click on.  It will show how to stop hair thinning, you click on it read the article and at the end of the article it’s driving you to buy a prescription pill.  So for me that is absolutely the incorrect way to describe native advertising. Its using a lot of the same element where it is trying to blend in with the website but the fundamental it’s breaking all the laws that I believe define native advertising.

Scott Lenet: Do you believe native advertising is like product placement, where it is so deeply embedded its part of another story already.  Where is the line? You cross?

Francisco Diaz-Mitoma Jr.:  Well it’s definitely a murky line and that’s why we brought on Merrill, with his great editorial background to help us navigate those waters.  You know it has to have some taste to it.  Where okay in some cases where there is branded content.  For example we did a campaign for a car company last month, which was a branded travel adventure, and people would naturally want to see that video and share that video. It was the right audience.  Agencies and companies are starting to invest more in content.

Merrill Brown: Scott as the older guy on the panel you might remember when advertisers use to own networks and sponsor programs and you watched the Brystol Myers hour.

Native advertising may be the long waited segway if you will where sponsored programs have a different branding and a different level of engagement with sponsors.  That are we getting there you think.

Scott Lenet: That and the sponsorship model makes a lot of sense for a lot of the content we are talking about compared to what we rationally think of as advertising on the web.  What you guys have all described from banner ads , people clicked on them and after time they monetized.  If you have something like click bait , tricking you into thinking it’s part of the page when it’s really not going to monetize over time.  And that’s going to get higher click rates but not for long because people will figure it out.  But if it is truly embedded and its part of the narrative you describe and it’s contextual then I think it’s more like a sponsorship.  As a business how do you make that scalable and not an incredible effort each time?

Keyvan Peymani: Brands are getting much smarter on how they engage their audience.  I think there is a generational wave of executive chief marketing positions that still believe in brand 101 strategy oppose to those who are much more focused on activating the right individual at the right moment and then drive it to sales.  Basically if you look at entertainment marketing it’s growing very very quickly. Everything is blasted to the community for four million dollars it’s not let’s build that community, feed that community.  We are starting to see that change happen.

Merrill Brown: Do you see the difference between building your brand and exploiting your brand?

Keyvan Peymani: That’s an awesome question and I’m going to give a great answer to that, yes and No! (Laughing) I think building the brand and exploiting the brand are now interlocked in a way they weren’t before.  Because while you’re building the brand and making money off the things you do, you have to be cognizant of the reason in which you are exploiting the brand, impacting the brand you are building.  It’s because of the world we live in; I mean movies open and close on a Friday afternoon now.  It used to be that they had weeks and weeks to run but now we can now tell each other if something sucks or is really a complete sell out.  So you see the pendulum swing were the Kardashian’s build a huge brand exploit it and it backlashes on them … then they figure out maybe they need to re build that brand.  It’s a much more difficult navigation now, as brands can be built faster than ever, that’s the great news but they can also be destroyed faster than ever.  You have to think of both sides as you’re doing it.

Future of Advertising and Content Monetization: part two is coming soon.

VIRURL Chairman Merrill Brown joins DFJ Frontier

VIRURL Chairman Merrill Brown

VIRURL Chairman Merrill Brown

VIRURL Chairman Merrill Brown joins DFJ Frontier as Venture Partner.

From Socaltech.com “Los Angeles-based venture capital investment firm DFJ Frontier has significantly bolstered the company’s team, saying Tuesday that it has added Merrill Brown–former founder of MSNBC–as a Venture Partner. DFJ Frontier said that Brown will be based in New York, and will work both on the East Coast and the Northwest. Brown is curerntly at the Montclair State University School of Communication and Media, where he also continue to serve, and prior to that also had served at Journalism Online (acquired by RR Donnelley); Realnetworks; MSNBC.com (as Editor in Chief/SVP); and worked withTime Magazine, NBC, Court TV, among other companies and clients. He’s also been involved with such companies as Virurl.com, GoLocal, Evri.com, and Now Public.”
If you are around Santa Monica this Thursday, May 9th you are welcome to join VIRURL in hosting The Future of Advertising event at cross campus. It should be an exciting panel. More details below:

http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6125725209

If you are attending the UCLA Entrepreneurs Association Conference this Friday, May 10th join VIRURL’s CEO Francisco Diaz-Mitoma Jr. in a discussion regarding “How Big Data will Change Business” at 2:00 PM (Room C315).

What startups can learn from Dr. Jerry Buss

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Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, 34 years as owner of the NBA team, died at the age of 80

Dr. Jerry Buss’ legendary status on the basketball court can be attributed to a keen sense of business vision and an even greater taste for talent. The sequence of events that lead the Los Angeles Lakers brand into, arguably, the largest sports franchise in history was not luck but a vision of investing heavily in talent early on. Many of the high-stakes moves created by Jerry Buss’ ownership career can be applied to the thriving world of startups.

Do what you love, everything will follow

Born Gerald Hatten Buss, he hailed from Kemmerer, Wyoming. Earning a M.S and Ph.D in physical chemistry by age 24. Following graduation, Buss began teaching at USC to share his knowledge with students. His desire to continue teaching led him to make an invest $1,000 in a West Los Angeles apartment building. It has been reported that Buss believed that the passive income would supplement his teaching income. Realizing that the real estate investment was a good one, Buss began investing more of his attention in the booming real estate market. This small investment eventually turned into a fortune that allowed him to purchase the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings, and the Los Angeles Forum.

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Many times a start up is created with the sole pretense of earning mountain piles of cash. Although sustainability and earnings are important, we’ve seen that startups founded with an undying passion for meaningful change – not cash flipping machines – to be the most successful. When a founder creates a business under the pretense of changing the world- success, traction and money will follow. The challenging part of a startup is not how you spend money when everything is going great but how individuals and teams deal with difficult times. In looking at Dr. Jerry Buss, one can clearly see how an investment to keep doing what he loved, teaching, resulted in an empire being born. A lesson for startups everywhere, following a passion or a meaningful goal assures that your business stays afloat even when it feels like it is sinking.

Build it and they will come

Dr. Buss had an incredible ability to build excitement. He knew that by building the stadium, building the buzz around an all-star team – that fans would follow. In other words, he was excellent at understanding the fans and building traction. Jerry Buss made the world’s jaw drop by paying Magic Johnson a 25-year, $25 million contract. In retrospect it was a great deal but many at the time balked at the price tag. Dr. Buss understood the mechanics of investing in the lineup and turning heads as a result.

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The same mechanic often happens in startups and during the hiring process. Many founders find themselves hoarding control or cash during the most important phase of a startup – its creation. Often times, a startup never makes it off the ground because cofounders and early team members can’t agree on a fair share.

An important example from Jerry Buss’ career is to invest in what matters – your team. Buss identified dozens of greats that included Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Although price tags were steep, Dr. Buss invested in top players to ensure his team’s performance.

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Dr. Buss said, “I don’t just want winners. I want champions” and these same philosophies bloom from winning startups. The startups that win are the ones that share the pie accordingly, invest heavy in talent with the intent to win.

As people around the world mourn the loss of Hall of Famer Dr. Jerry Buss we also pay tribute to the lessons learned on and off the court. How Dr. Buss built a business, loved by millions, by following his passion and investing heavily in team.

VIRURL Updates, BlogWorld, CES

To start, we have a great announcement – VIRURL has now shared over 4,000,000 sponsored stories successfully.

We’ve made some big changes to help content owners do what they do best – focus on their content. The notable changes are:

  • RSS Ads (read about it on Techcrunch)
  • Daily budget
  • Advanced Scheduling

RSS Ads

VIRURL launched RSS ads to make it easier for advertisers to acquire audiences. Now, programmatically every time an advertiser posts a new piece of content – VIRURL monitors RSS feeds and instantly launches a campaign with relevant publishers and influencers.

Daily Budget

To further help advertisers maintain a steady flow of new audiences, we have released the ability to set up a daily budget around a piece of content. For as little as $20 a day – advertisers can now automate a daily stream of new readers and viewers.

Scheduling

Over the last six months many content owners were interested in setting up future campaigns with calendar scheduling. In one session advertisers can create multiple campaigns with different start and end dates.

Going VIRURL at BlogWorld and CES

We gave away $50 in free advertising coupons for new advertisers and onboarded several great influencers and publishers to the platform at BlogWorld. We are more excited than ever to see the tools available for bloggers improving. We expect 2013 to be bigger and better as bloggers try out new services that are designed to make their experience easier.

One thing was crystal clear at CES – gadgets are being designed to better display new formats of content. 3D sans-glasses content, 4K vibrant content and multi-layer displayed content will improve the way we consume entertainment and information.

If you missed our giveaways this time around, make sure you check us out at SXSW.

There were also some notable airwaves on VIRURL in the past few months:

Thanks again for all your continued support. We continue to work hard on shipping product enhancements to make it easier for our publishers to monetize with engaging, relevant sponsored content.

Thanks for reading,

Francisco Diaz-Mitoma, CEO