And another grand plan by major publishers bites the dust. Tribune, Gannett, the New York Times Co. and Hearst have shut down quadrantOne effective immediately. The agency was an attempt to scale local for national display advertising, harnessing the power of the four owners and others. The abrupt website notice:
Important Information About quadrantONE
To all of our valued partners:
As a result of the many changes that have occurred in the digital advertising marketplace over the last several years, the owner companies of quadrantONE have decided to seek different paths for national display advertising. As a result, quadrantONE will wind down current operations.
We’d like to take this opportunity thank all of our affiliate and advertising partners who have worked with us over the last 5 years. It has simply been our pleasure to serve you.
The quadrantONE Team
Chicago-based QuadrantOne launched five years ago this month as some of the leading newspaper publishers looked for ways to capitalize on their local reach by providing advertisers with ways to target across organizations. Joint ventures, particularly in the competitive media space, are notoriously difficult. Often the betting is on how long they will last, rather than can they succeed. In that respect, Q1 went a little longer than I might have expected, especially with Tribune’s financial woes and the management changes across the various companies.
Update: David Kaplan, who covered quadrantOne in depth for paidContent and knows the ad exchange biz upside down and sideways, has a piece up now at AdExchanger:
One cause, according to sources, was bickering among JV partners, including over the investment they would be willing to contribute to the company going forward. …
The disintegration could – in part – be attributed to growing internal programmatic strategies that create better yield than the assumed scale of the co-operative. Also, this may be a sign that exchanges are creating better yield these days. Why manage a separate exchange when you can go through existing exchanges such as Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange, PubMatic, Rubicon Project, AppNexus and so on, and receive comparable or better CPMs.
See comment above about JVs being “notoriously difficult” — then add in the usual problems of startups and the rapidly changing ad marketplace.
Disclosure: My brother Billy Kramer worked for quadrantOne in 2010-11 but is not one of those who lost their jobs with no warning today.
If commenters think your commenting thread is a public space where they can do whatever they want because nobody’s watching, they will do whatever they want. And that is not pretty. And then the potentially constructive comments never get posted, because normal people do not want to waste their time thinking and writing comments that will just get flamed.
The Journal News hired armed guards after its staff was threatened for posting names and address of gun owners. The New York Times has some (automated) shopping advice to go with the armed guards. The wire story in the screengrab* isn’t showing up now and probably shouldn’t have been posted since it repeats a staff article from earlier today.
*Image courtesy of eagle-eyed Ed Kohn.
The Dropkick Murphys played a holiday set at the hometown Boston Globe Digital Lab in early December. I’d prefer the full concert but that may be a minority view. Instead, it’s a video playlist with individual songs, including the classic Irish Rover (embedded below).
This should have taken a couple of minutes to post. Instead, I learned a lot more about the limits of WordPress.com video and the vageries of the Brightcove player then I could have imagined. The solution I went with meant skipping the manual embed that would give me more control over the post, giving the player access to my WordPress account and publishing immediately, then going into the post to update. It’s also a dead-end video sans playlist. Oh, well, the results still rock.
We live in a time of unprecedented access to entertainment, news, information — even to each other. But that access requires navigating a digital labyrinth, with toll booths, hidden doors, gates that only open in one direction, false exits, and misleading turns — along with some clear paths and dazzling topiary. I wish I could say that will get easier in 2013. It won’t. And if there’s one prediction I feel safe in making, clarity isn’t even in our mid-range future.
Why? I explain as part of the Nieman Jopurnalism Lab 2013 predictions project. (Thanks for including me, Josh.) Lots more on a variety of topics from much smarter people.