Acquisitions tend to make a tremor in this industry, so it was no surprise that when Rakuten announced the acquisition of cashback company Ebates for $1 billion in cash last Tuesday more than a few eyebrows were left suspended.

The news sparked speculation that Ebates could potentially leverage data and various insights from its Rakuten LinkShare-supported competitors for an inside advantage- speculation that was swiftly put to bed by Rakuten president Tony Zito.

It is a bold move, and one that has caused doubt amongst shareholders over whether the Japanese firm will make swift gains considering the initial price tag. But does this indicate a lucrative spell for the cashback industry a whole? Read the full story on PerformanceIN.

Content Capital

Content marketing has been a particularly present point of discussion in recent weeks. Vlogger Mel Kirk cited the humble blog as the third most influential source of information for consumers after brand and retail sites. Despite findings that the average blogger’s affiliate earnings fall far below that of the UK minimum wage, it would appear that they are rapidly becoming a valuable and potent marketing channel.

But not a reputable one, argues DigitasLBi media innovations director Andrew Girdwood. With many bloggers and small publishers inept at disclosing paid content, agencies and advertisers will need to step up and start adhering to best practice if they wish to maintain relationships of any worth. And now is the time to start making some rules; already adopted by some of the biggest household names in media and showing no signs of tapering, this month’s startup spotter Ones to Watch showcases the new companies in gear to bank off the rapidly accelerating native ad sector.

Mobile Money

Less subtle forms of advertising are not going anywhere. Just a few weeks after Apple announced its new iOS ad formats encompassing full-screen interstitial banners, AOL has followed suit adding new 300×1050 units to its Devil Ad Suite in an effort to keep up with a move towards richer, higher impact ad experiences. They appear to be working, with one in three UK mobile shoppers admitting to clicking ads on their smartphone or tablet device.

It was surprising therefore to hear that many top American retailers are underprepared for mobile to represent a bigger segment of their revenue, with companies such as Casio and Joe Boxer labelled as ‘mobile laggards’ for their inability to perform on the channel.