Facebook Takes This Fight to Google

Facebook acquires online video ad platform LiveRail.

Jul 3, 2014 at 9:00AM

After settling at a new all-time high yesterday afternoon, U.S stocks were pointing to a positive open to trading on Thursday. The benchmark S&P 500 and the narrower Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) were up 0.27% and 0.26%, respectively, in pre-market trading following a stronger than expected government employment report. Expect glacial activity during today's shortened session: The market will close at 1 p.m. EDT ahead of the Independence Day holiday.


As television cedes advertising dollars to the Internet -- and, in particular, to online video -- the battle for those dollars continues to escalate. In the latest development, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) announced yesterday that it is acquiring LiveRail in a transaction reportedly worth between $400 million and $500 million. LiveRail, which bills itself as "the leading monetization platform for [video] publishers," helps companies like Major League Baseball and YouTube competitor Dailymotion feature better ads in the videos they post on their websites and apps. LiveRail also directly provides marketers with access to premium video content and the tools to decide where to feature their ads.

What's the opportunity for Facebook? LiveRail will enable the social network to make the video ads it displays on its own website the most relevant possible to its users; conversely, Facebook said it will employ the data it collects on its users in order to optimize the choice of video ads on other websites. The former ought to allow Facebook to charge better rates to marketers, while improving the experience of its users (or minimizing their annoyance, at least).

Facebook's announcement came one day after rival Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) announced a deal of its own (albeit one much smaller). In acquiring streaming music service Songza Media, Google isn't just interested in serving up curated playlists, it's also looking at the technology that will help it deliver better-targeted contextual ads. Given that the company owns the largest online video network in the world in YouTube -- one it's working hard to monetize -- one might have thought that LiveRail would have made an excellent acquisition for Google.

Research firm eMarketer estimates YouTube recorded $5.6 billion in gross ad revenue last year, 9% of Google's total ad revenue. After revenue sharing, YouTube's estimated $1.08 billion in net U.S. revenue represents roughly a fifth of the U.S. online video ad market. The battle between Facebook and Google isn't over on this front -- not by a long shot -- but Facebook's acquisition of LiveRail is a decisive action.

Your cable company is scared, but you can get rich
You know cable's going away. But do you know how to profit? There's $2.2 trillion out there to be had. Currently, cable grabs a big piece of it. That won't last. And when cable falters, three companies are poised to benefit. Click here for their names. Hint: They're not Netflix, Google, and Apple. 


Alex Dumortier, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Google (A shares) and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Google (A shares) and Google (C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.


Compare Brokers