Morning Reads: Microsoft Job Cuts Hit Massive, TheStreet Plowed, WebMD Upbeat

Massive hit by Microsoft layoffs. In-game ad network Massive Inc., which Microsoft bought three years ago, has suffered a significant headcount reduction under the company’s latest round of layoffs. VentureBeat reports the ad unit’s staff may have been reduced by as much as 75 percent. Updated: The ad unit’s staff was reduced by 28 percent, a spokesperson has corrected. “We have made these adjustments in response to general benchmarks and growth trends in the in-game advertising industry. They will allow us to operate more efficiently in the future, and we remain committed to growing the business.” Microsoft expects no disruption in its relationships with brands and publishers.’s online ad revenue plummeted 47 percent in Q1. The company’s interactive marketing revenues — which includes both online ads and lead gen services — fell almost as much, totaling $4.5 million in Q1. (earnings release)

WebMD on the other had cause to celebrate. The health company’s online ad revenue grew 16 percent during the period. The company acknowledged many biotech and pharmaceutical firms have cut ad budgets but said “WebMD is benefiting as these companies consolidate their spending with fewer, high quality media properties.” (earnings release)

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