The New York Times’ R&D Lab functions as its own in-house startup according to AdWeek. Recently the lab’s focus shifted from strictly creative ideas to projects involving licensing and monetization, such as Cascade and Ricochet.
The real-time Twitter visualizations created by Cascade illustrate how messages travel virally though the social media platform. Used by the Times and software giant SAP, it indicates optimal language, posting frequency and even reveals who is paying attention. Ricochet allows brands to buy ad space near articles related to their products. It can even be distributed through an exclusive URL. Adweek reports its specific marketing abilities have the potential to revolutionize the currently imprecise world of ad exchanges and audience targeting. Pilot partner Brown-Forman thinks it could be the first step in cracking the digital advertising code. Using Ricochet, their banner ad click through rates are 14 times higher.