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Web metrics reporting service comScore has announced a new partnership today with the newly-Adobe-acquired Omniture. The new strategic partnership is being announced in conjunction with New York’s Advertising Week. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
From the announcement, “the offering will combine the power of Omniture’s Web analytics with comScore’s new Media Metrix 360 hybrid audience measurement to help provide publishers and advertisers with a unified and comprehensive view of online audiences.”
My guess is that Omniture customers will now be able to view their own data next to industry and competitor analytics provided by comScore. It’s a smart move for both companies and should help Omniture customers save time and generate better analysis.
Could this bring comScore closer to the “quantified” service offered by Quantcast? From the announcement, “The strategic partner relationship is intended to allow joint Omniture and comScore customers to use Omniture tags to collect and share information with Media Metrix 360 using Omniture Genesis integration technology, quickly bypassing the normal implementation process for Media Metrix 360. The relationship also opens up the possibility of joint product initiatives that will leverage the granularity of the Omniture site-specific data with the Web-wide view of Internet user behavior provided by comScore.”
After last year’s acquisition post, I thought it would be interesting to look at 5 great acquisition targets for 1st quarter 2008. I do not have financials for any of these companies, so I am working from a base of technology and visibility. For each company I list, I have also listed a possible buyer along with my commentary on why the purchase makes sense. Do you agree or disagree?
Why: Yahoo needs to expand its base of distribution for the Yahoo ad platform. What better way than to acquire the population segment who uses AOL and loves it? AOL users click ads which means a potential cash win for Yahoo sa they could integrate contextually-relevant advertising into AOL, something AOL doesn’t do currently. It would also give them access into Hulu thru the AOL Video portal. It might even perk up the employee morale which I read has been quite low this past year.
Why: A couple times each week I read about IBM wanting to own the services market. Acquiring Zoho would give IBM a foothold into Web 2.0 and since Zoho targets the small business, would give IBM a chance to sell the small business on even more IBM-based services. It could even help IBM to slowly become a household name again in the Web space, something that they have no real presence in today.
Why: Webtrends is so completely out of the Web game, it’s sad. I remember beta testing the first version of Webtrends in the mid-90s and watched the company never move forward. Clicky is hot, both from the application-side and the buzz-side, and could be a good fit for Webtrends. Most small businesses need simple Web analytics and while Clicky is more robust than just simple, it would give a slow entry into the current Web market for Webtrends. That is of course if they actually want to move forward, something I’ve wondered for eight years now.
Why: To help Omniture move further into the Web testing market and provide a rounded suite of tools for their clients. Last year I said that CrazyEgg should be acquired by a large creative agency but I’ve changed my mind and am going with Omniture. CrazyEgg and ClickTale provide the testing and Omniture provides the analytics – I could see some nice A/B type testing with these acquisitions.
Why: Both Pageflakes and Netvibes have good footings into the early adopter, “cool techie” segments. This is a segment which Yahoo lacks on but could be a very influential segment for buzz. Completed correctly, Yahoo could (once again) start to get their search and other products in front of the early adopter, blogger crowd which can be an excellent way for Yahoo to get messages out and have forced use of their technology.
Note: Zoho is a current sponsor of CN.
Update December 29 – Please check out the initial Adobe spying post as well.
Yesterday we wrote about Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) and their potential spying on CS3 customers. The questions were based on screenshots showing a domain "2o7.net" which is owned by tracking firm Omniture. The screenshot (posted below again) shows what appears to be an internal IP address which it’s not. Why would Adobe try to hide the tracking with a fake IP address?
John Nack, Adobe Photoshop product manager has provided a reply to the privacy concerns. He mentions that Adobe is closed this week and so his reply is the best he could find out while everyone else is away. We appreciate the effort John, thank you.
John notes that there are three places that Adobe CS3 reports data to Omniture:
- The welcome screens in some Adobe apps include a Flash SWF file that loads current news, special offers, etc. These requests hit Adobe.com servers and are logged, like regular browser-based traffic, by Omniture.
- Adobe Bridge embeds both the Opera browser and the Flash Player, both of which can be used to load Adobe-hosted content. These requests are also logged.
- Adobe apps can call various online resources (online help, user forums, etc.), and those requests are logged.
He concludes with, "Tracking user habits can be a good thing that benefits customers by helping software creators notice trends & improve their tools. When Adobe has pursued this kind of thing, it’s always been on a strictly opt-in basis."
So John, let me throw it back over to – you note that I can opt-out of the tracking. Where in the installation process is the opt-out screen? Can you post a screenshot of the opt-out screen on installation? And why does Adobe try to hide the tracking by using a fake IP address? Don’t say because that’s how Omniture said to set it up. Thanks!
UPDATE December 28 – 7PM Eastern – Adobe has replied to the concerns
Dan over at UneasySilence has found some interesting screens inside of the Adobe CS3 applications. He notes, "When you launch a CS3 application the application pings out to what looks like an IP address – and internal IP address: 192.168.112.2O7."
Now any tech geek knows that looks like an internal address and that Adobe has always monitored who is using their software on the network to make sure everything is legit. In fact I remember back to working at an elementary school in Brooklyn in the early days and getting buzzed about reg issues on the network.
But if you look closely at the IP address above, the 2O7 part looks weird – turns out it’s not the number two-hundred-seven but it’s actually two-letter-O-seven and that domain is owned by Web analytics firm Omniture. It seems so spyware-ish to make it look to the ordinary geek that it’s an internal address. In fact, many of the very evil phishing scams use these type of urls (bankofamerica.com vs. bank0famerica.com, etc.). I am not suggesting that Adobe is doing anything wrong, but it just seems out of character for the very much loved graphics manufacturer.
There is an opt-out on the Omniture site however I can’t picture that it works within the CS3 application as all it does is place a cookie on my machine.
You know that most consumers will have no idea this tracking is going on behind the scenes and even if they do, it seems you need to go to the Omniture site to opt-out. So that means that the data will still be sent from the application.
So I ask, should Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) offer you the option to decline this tracking when you install CS3? Let’s hope we hear from Adobe and their staff of Web evangelists on this matter soon.
Shame on Adobe, shame.