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NBCU Taps Appssavvy to Monetize New Facebook App


Playing in the big leagues

NBC Universal chose Appssavvy, a social media ad network, to serve as exclusive sales rep for some upcoming social media efforts.

In late October the network plans to debut a Facebook app called iCue. Created by NBC Learn, the educational division of NBC News, the app targets users seeking intellectual recreation.

Appssavvy will use traditional and customized ad programs to monetize iCue. The account is a promising indication of the future prospects of the company, which debuted in January.

"We've already done deals worth $200,000 to $300,000, but this exclusive partnership shows that major media companies are ready to invest in the application market," said CEO Chris Cunningham, of Appssavvy.

And NBCU's no small fry on the so-called "new media" scene. The company co-owns Hulu, a streaming film and TV show site with a progressive outlook on internet advertising. It was also the exclusive provider (and ad dealer) of footage for the Beijing Olympics, for which it closed syndication deals across social media, mobile and search sites.

NBCU also disseminated the Saturday Night Live clip of Tina Fey posing as Sarah Palin across CNBC.com, NBC.com and iTunes. Despite unofficial proliferation of the spoof on YouTube, NBCU's release became the most-watched viral video in NBC.com's history. (Nearly 5.8 million views so far.)

It also drew the largest site audience for CNBC.com, according to Omniture via AdWeek).

Appssavvy represents ad inventory on applications — including 15 of the top 20 Facebook apps — reaching over 50 million unique users in total. The company currently works in tandem with around 15 ad agencies, including Palisades Media and Universal/McCann.

An eMarketer report projected advertisers would spend $40 million in widgets and related applications in 2008. The actual figure will likely be lower, given increasing volatility in the economic climate. In any event, the $40 million projection is $15 million higher than the amount spent last year.

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