Everywhere at Once

Last night, Pandora launched the Pandora Everywhere platform, which encompasses Sprint mobile phones, Sonos home music adapters, and Xing handheld devices. Here is the Techcrunch story. The announcement was also covered by Wired, CNET, PC Magazine, Engadget, Gizmodo, Valleywag, VentureBeat, San Francisco Chronicle, Associated Press, CNN Money, Billboard Online, GigaOm, Scobleizer, USA Today, CBS News ... The list goes on.

Made to Measure

In its current issue, BusinessWeek explores the resasoning behind recent M&A activity in the online advertising sector and calls out BlueLithium as a company to watch.

Now marketers are spoiled. And as big-brand advertisers move online in greater force, they're demanding the ability to apply the same kind of targeting and measurability they get from paid search to all the other ads they run. "Everybody's got the mindset that everything should be measurable," says Erik Qualman, head of North America marketing for travel site Travelzoo Inc. (TZOO) One reason: While targeted ads online may cost about twice as much as untargeted ads, they can produce twice the return on investment. As a result, says David R. Verklin, chief executive of Carat Americas, the agency that buys online ads for the likes of Pfizer Inc. (PFE), "data and data analytics are the next big battleground in marketing."

And on the Internet. Ad networks such as Specific Media, Blue Lithium, and 24/7 Real Media (TFSM) appear to be on the short list for acquisition by major media and tech companies.

Make Music, Not War

The Defense Department has decided to block soldiers' access to a number of popular Web sites, including Pandora.

"This recreational traffic impacts our official DoD network and bandwidth ability, while posing a significant operational security challenge," [a Defense Department] memo said.

The armed services have long barred members of the military from sharing information that could jeopardize their missions or safety, whether electronically or by other means.

The new policy is different because it creates a blanket ban on several sites used by military personnel to exchange messages, pictures, video and audio with family and friends.

Members of the military can still access the sites on their own computers and networks, but Defense Department computers and networks are the only ones available to many soldiers and sailors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Verizon to Acquire Cybertrust

Walden is proud to announce that Verizon has agreed to acquire Cybertrust. Here's a link to the release.

Verizon Business today announced a definitive agreement under which it will acquire Cybertrust, a privately held provider of global information security services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The combination will make Verizon Business the leading provider of managed information security services to large-business and government customers worldwide. By combining Cybertrust’s global presence and customer base, focused security expertise and professional services with Verizon Business' “cloud-to-core” security portfolio, global IP network and financial strength, the acquisition creates a powerful and unique player that will redefine the global security landscape.

Google/DoubleClick Backlash

According to The New York Post, Google's pending acquisition of DoubleClick has stirred up concern in the advertising world that Google will hold too much power. As as result, demand for BlueLithium's services has never been greater. Here's an excerpt from the article:

DoubleClick swears the information it collects about its customers ad campaigns can't be shared with Google, which already dominates the lucrative market for search advertising, without running afoul of its long-term contracts with clients.

But few in the ad business are buying it. Many believe Google will find ways to leverage DoubleClick's display data to increase its Internet ad clout.

Some suggest Google and DoubleClick set rules sooner rather than later to avoid the inevitable conflicts.

"They are going to have to write some rules of engagement on the type of information that can be shared," said Gurbaksh Chahal, chief executive of online ad company BlueLithium. "It will be interesting to see them."