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Wall St. Speaks Out on Media & Advertising - BMO Capital Markets Corp.
By: Dan Salmon   (04/17/2015)

Ahead of 1Q15 earnings, we find ourselves lacking conviction across our entire group. Our favorites (DIS, LNKD, ADS) continue to perform well, while intriguing Market Perform rated names (e.g., GOOG, TWX, ACXM) continue to have cross-winds and remain range-bound. In our recent downgrades of both OMC and PUB-FR, we see the agency group as fully valued and return to focusing on stocks with company-specific levers (IPG, MDCA).

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Wall St. Speaks Out on LinkedIn Acquisition of Lynda.com - BMO, Dan Salmon / Jeffrey Silber
By: Dan Salmon   (04/10/2015)

LinkedIn will acquire Lynda.com, an online learning company that helps its users improve job skills through online video tutorials. The deal is valued at $1.5B (52% in cash, 48% in stock) and is expected to close in late 2Q15. The price implies a ~10x multiple of Lynda's $150 mm of 2014 revenue, which is growing at a mid-20% range, with 70% gross margins and an adjusted EBITDA margin in the 5-10% range.

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Wall St. Speaks Out on Network TV Reach - Pivotal Research, Brian Wieser
By: Brian Wieser   (04/10/2015)

The greater the number of individual consumers who watch a network, the greater the value the network brings to its advertisers and distributors, and ultimately to its owners. For this report, we looked at monthly data on reach from Rentrak from the beginning of 2011 to the present and can see that TV's reach has generally held up over the past several years, with the vast majority of American households watching each of the largest broadcast networks, whose dominance over cable networks continues.

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Wall St. Speaks Out on New Google Play Ad Unit - Credit Suisse, Stephen Ju
By: Stephen Ju   (03/27/2015)

Google (GOOGL) recently announced the release of a new app promotion ad unit within Google Play to help app developers get their content in front of users. We believe this is one of the more significant new ad units to be released by the company in some time and from a big picture perspective underscores once again our view that Google's presence via its multiple apps and services on mobile still remains under-monetized.

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Wall St. Speaks Out: Apple TV and Over-the-Top Advertising - Brian Wieser, Pivotal Research
By: Brian Wieser   (03/20/2015)

News about over-the-top video content packages has been relentless of late, with reports of Apple's efforts most prominent over the past week. While concerns about the fate of the legacy providers of bundles of content to distributors are undoubtedly overblown (given upstarts' limited content offerings, lack of quality of service guarantees, lack of meaningful customer service, likely higher broadband bills, long-term economic challenges associated with higher marketing and content costs, etc, etc.) there is an important underlying issue for the TV advertising business that is associated with this topic: fragmented audiences are, on average, going to continue to get more fragmented, and near-universal access to identical content will diminish.

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Wall St. Speaks Out: Takeaways from the Advanced Advertising Conference - Dan Salmon, BMO Capital Markets
By: Dan Salmon   (03/13/2015)

We spent the afternoon at the Advanced Advertising conference in New York where we had a chance to catch up with some industry contacts. Participating public companies included DIS, TWX, CMCSA/NBCU, WPP-LN, OMC, PUB-FR, IPG, NLSN, RENT, and TUBE. Notable private companies included WideOrbit, Videology, Simulmedia, and AdMore

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Wall St. Speaks Out on Nielsen Acquisition of eXelate - BMO Capital Markets
By: Dan Salmon   (03/06/2015)

The Wall Street Journal indicated a price of $200mm, which implies around a 6.7x run-rate revenue multiple; this compares with a reported 10.5x multiple paid by Oracle (ORCL, $43.38, rated Outperform by Joel Fishbein) for BlueKai. eXelate functionally operates two businesses: 1) the legacy one (and much larger of the two) is a data exchange, which aggregates and distributes third-party demographic, interest, and intent data from 200+ online and offline data providers; 2) the newer data management platform (DMP) can host and manage clients' first-party data and connect with third-party data sources.

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Wall St. Speaks Out on 4Q Ad Trends - Pivotal Research Group
By: Brian Wieser   (02/27/2015)

Now that the vast majority of public US-based media owners have reported their fourth quarter earnings, we can make a preliminary read on 4Q advertising trends. A more comprehensive assessment of the year will await results from trade groups whose data we rely on for some of our underlying estimates.

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Wall St. Speaks Out: Death of a Centralized Agency Trading Desk - Pivotal Research Group
By: Brian Wieser   (02/20/2015)

At most agency holding companies' media divisions, when programmatic buying initially emerged over the last decade, it was typically centralized into something with a distinct P&L which became what most of us now call agency trading desks. Client teams inside of the conventional media agency businesses were commonly "encouraged" in one way or another to direct digital budgets to these entities.

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Wall St. Speaks Out on 2015 Digital Advertising Outlook - Janney/MediaEntertainment
By: Murali Sankar   (02/13/2015)

Digital Advertising will be driven by growth in Mobile, Programmatic, and Video advertising. These trends will highlight the importance of being data-centric and ability to capture budgets that we believe will increasingly come from traditional TV advertising. The crowded landscape (particularly in ad-tech) will lead to consolidation, as niche players struggle to capture economics. Viewability and ad fraud remain top issues for ad buyers and can drive growth in performance-driven advertising as well as Programmatic Direct. FUEL (Buy, $22.50 FV) remains our top pick.

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2015 Network TV Upfront and NewFront Calendar

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A new original programming lineup kicks off July 16 with the original movie “Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser” (promoted by Crackle at the Winter 2015 TCA tour), a sequel to the popular 2001 film featuring David Spade (reprising the title role) and Christopher Walken. Bryan Cranston, whose Crackle retro reboot “Tightrope” didn't come to life (a shame, because it was among the best pilots showcased at any Upfront or NewFront presentation last spring) will try again with animated washed-up superhero satire “Supermansion” this fall. He'll will give voice to Titanium Rex (with additional voices by Seth Green and Keegan-Michael Key) and be an executive producer on the series. That will be followed in short order by “The Art of More” with Dennis Quaid as star and executive producer, set in the world of Las Vegas auction houses. Also on deck for late 2015/2016: A second “Dead Rising” made-for movie and post-prison/mafia drama “Capo.” Beyond programming, a new "Always On" design developed with Adobe Systems will be rolled out, where viewers automatically see a program when they click in. They can either watch the program or choose something else through an upgraded viewer guide.

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