Stats. Metrics. Articles. Resources. Trends. For Digital Media.

Posts Tagged ‘Ad Networks’

New News Corp ad network to court financial sites

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 25, 2008

Article Source:

Article Link:

Mon May 19, 2008 1:23am EDT, By Kenneth Li

NEW YORK (Reuters) – News Corp’s .Fox Networks is launching an international online ad network Monday focused on financial news and advice, with help from the Wall Street Journal Digital Network.

About 30 web site publishers are part of the network, called Worthnet.Fox, including Dow Jones’s Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch. News Corp bought Dow Jones last December.

The network is designed to target a growing class of executives who spend time in myriad global regions, as economic borders dissolve amid international expansion.

“The economy has grown around the world and has helped create a new global affluent individual,” Hernan Lopez, chief operating officer of Fox International Channels, said in an interview. For example, the site would target “the head of world financial companies that expands his operations in India and wants a local manager that has experience in more international companies.”

.Fox Networks, an online advertising network that helps market unsold advertising space on web sites outside of the United States, is a division of News Corp’s Fox International Channels.

Relatively unknown in the U.S. until April, .Fox is taking a more prominent role within Rupert Murdoch’s empire as it seeks ways to work with the media mogul’s vast portfolio of companies.

In April, .Fox purchased European online video ad network Utarget for an undisclosed sum and announced it would start finding ways to work with one of News Corp’s most closely watched divisions — Fox Interactive Media, which oversees the world’s largest social network, MySpace.

The launch of Worthnet.Fox appears to be part of News Corp’s intentions to expand Dow Jones’s international presence as rivals, including Thomson Reuters, consolidate.

Since Murdoch’s estimated $5 billion purchase of Dow Jones last December, the 77-year-old executive has made the division a top priority and has said he aimed to make Dow Jones’s Wall Street Journal not just a must-read in the United States, but also a formidable global competitor in financial and political news and data.

Lopez said his division worked closely with Dow Jones in creating Worthnet.Fox. The new network will help Dow Jones sell ad inventory in areas outside the United States where Dow does not currently operate sales offices, focusing on Latin America.

(Reporting by Kenneth Li, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)


Posted in Ad Networks, Ad Products, Content, International, Marketplace Trends | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

CBS Scores With Sports Ad Network

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 25, 2008

Article Source:

Article Link:

by Cassimir Medford on 21 May 2008, 13:26

CBS Sports on Wednesday announced that it is discontinuing its use of third-party online ad networks and starting its own.

The move by CBS underscores a growing trend in the online ad industry of old media firms such as Forbes, Black Entertainment Television, and Martha Stewart Living mobilizing their own resources to connect advertisers to publishers.

“Over the last few years there has been a giving away of a lot of inventory to blind remnant ad networks where the advertiser does not have any control of where their ads end up,” said Jason Kint, senior vice president and general manager of and

Advertiser experiences with these remnant ad networks, Mr. Kint said, have been “less than optimal,” because they lack transparency, and that makes brand management and the measurement of campaign effectiveness difficult.

Ad networks such as, Specific Media, and TACODA provide a virtual meeting place where advertisers are connected to web publishers looking to sell ad inventory.

“But there are limitations on the level of control mass market ad networks can give since they are offering leftover inventory from a lot of places that the publisher could not sell so brand advertisers are wary of these networks,” said Michael Greene, an analyst with JupiterResearch.

Old media firms such as the Washington Post and CBS are building their own online ad networks to drive additional revenue from online ads and to accommodate brand advertisers willing to pay a premium for improved oversight.

CBS College Sports Media offers an array of college sports sites including,, and the official sites of approximately 215 U.S. colleges.

CBS has invested heavily in college sports, which attracts a much sought after but elusive demographic of college educated males ages 18-49.

“College sports is such a fragmented space online that it’s good for advertisers to access this inventory from one place,” said Mr. Greene. “This is one of the more difficult audiences for advertisers to reach.”

CBS’s online streaming of the NCAA Division l Men’s Basketball tournament attracted 4.75 million unique visitors this year, more than double last year’s total.

CBS said its College Sports Media reached more than 10 million unique visitors overall in March and delivered 1.5 billion impressions.

Posted in Ad Networks, Ad Spending, Brand Advertising, Marketplace Trends | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

On Ad Networks: Pork Bellies, Diamonds, Or The New Direct Marketing?

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 4, 2008

Article Source:

David Kaplan
Tuesday, April 8, 2008; 2:07 PM


Over the past few weeks, a debate over the use and growing prominence of ad networks and exchanges has been gathering. The recent shuttering of ESPN’s (NYSE: DIS) and the Washington Post’s (NYSE: WPO) respective ad nets, as well as the news that Forbes was starting another one, have given legs to a comment made at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual conference by Martha Living Stewart Omnimedia’s Wenda Harris Millard (pictured, above, left) warning that media companies were selling web inventory like “pork bellies.” I interviewed a number of execs, including Millard, MSLO’s president of media and new IAB chair, and AOL Platform-A President Lynda Clarizio (pictured, above, right), about their views on the buying and selling of media companies’ online ads, including some at a recent IAB conference with programming inspired by the debate.

All ad networks are not created equal: If all sides can agree on one thing, it’s the need for greater clarity to what’s being sold and where it’s being placed. Until then, the divide will remain. On one side, there are the vertical ad nets run by media companies like CondeNet, MSLO, Nickelodeon’s ParentsConnect Network, CBS’ network of local TV station sites and Forbes’ forthcoming financial network. Verticals promise control over ad sales and placement. On the other side are the sale of remnant ads (ad space that has gone unsold and is typically offered by web publishers, often at a discount) handled by Google/DoubleClick, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) and AOL (NYSE: TWX).

Some of their views after the jump.

Millard: “Both buyer and seller require transparency. In a lot of cases [in terms of ad nets’ handling of remnant, or unsold ad inventory], the buyer doesn’t really know what they’re getting. And the seller doesn’t have any control over price.”

Clarizio: “I’ve said before that there are an enormous amount of ad networks out there. And over time, the industry will consolidate. Speaking of, we have a different value proposition – what we sell is really reach across a network of sites – and there are 8,000 sites in the network. Or we sell targeting within a sub-set of sites. We sell what the individual sites cannot sell. I freely tell people, if you strictly want to be on the front page of iVillage, then you should have a conversation with iVillage. But not everyone has those kinds of specific needs. And to lump all networks together and compare it to the sale of pork bellies can confuse the issue. The people who are going to win are the people who drive the best results for advertisers and offer the highest monetization for websites.”

Millard: “Basically, the main message is that there is a lot of room in the marketplace for ad networks and ad exchanges. But there are a number of networks out there that are focusing on simply amassing volumes of inventory that all result in decreased pricing?and, the discussion about value is never heard. I do believe in exchanges and networks. But I don’t believe in networks that are just amassing massive amounts of inventory, just so they can sell it off cheaper. I don’t consider that marketing and I don’t believe that serves the publisher well or the marketer for that matter.”

Joelle Kaufman, VP, marking, Adify: Remnant ad sales operate in much the same way direct response campaigns do, which is unlike a TV sponsorship or other major branding campaign, Kaufman, whose company, Adify continues to power the WaPo network, MSLO’s and others: “In direct response, all you care about is reach. Just trying to get people to click, trying to get in front of as many people as possible and get as much reach as you can ? therefore you don’t care what you’re next to? It’s not as if unsold ads proliferate because these people are bad at selling advertising. It’s unsold because it’s not appropriate for brand advertising.”

Mutual benefits: Bill Wise, GM of the Global Exchange, Right Media, contends that if exchanges didn’t benefit publishers, the Yahoo-owned unit wouldn’t be trading over 5 billion impressions a day with over 30,000 sellers. He doesn’t see a real conflict with what media companies like MSLO or Forbes are doing with their vertical ad networks?promising premium placement. Despite publishers’ established links with advertisers and agencies, they face a world where the proliferation of blogs and vertical content has resulted in their respective category – inventory and ad dollars – growing at a faster rate than their business. The best way to maintain their growth is to partner with exchanges – like Right Media’s, of course – in order to address the challenges to their businesses.

Not all targeting is equal either: Adam Shlachter, senior partner and group director at MEC: The message from some networks has been: we have a ton of inventory across the web and we’re going to run ads across these types of places and these types of users. Targeting is crucial and the more refined the targeting can be, the more valuable that type of inventory can be?but only if the message fits. To tell me you’re going to be able to target a particular behavioral segment because of the recency of their consumption of a piece of content ? and then immediately, they’re hit with an ad ? well, I think we’re beyond those days. It doesn’t work as well. Consumers are taking in a lot more content. We’ve seen some variance in things that are more contextually targeted. More precision is needed.

All about pricing: Sarah Welch, co-founder and COO, Mindset Media, an ad network specializing in “psychographic” behavioral targeting, noted that a lot of the ads on exchanges is undifferentiated and does get pushed down to absolute bottom ? that is, commodity level prices. What happens from their perspective is that advertisers, and agencies who support them, think that they can get Martha Stewart level inventory at bottom of the barrel prices. That’s not good for the publishing industry, in general. I absolutely understand [Millard’s] perspective on that. Is that what’s happening, fundamentally on exchanges? I think what happens is, unless there are dimensions on which inventory can be priced and understood by buyers and sellers to be of value, yes, things do get traded down to that level.”

Diamonds, not pork bellies? In a post on IAB’s blog shortly after Millard’s pork bellies comment, Randall Rothenberg, the organization’s president and CEO, weighed in, noting how Michael Rubenstein VP-GM of Google’s (NSDQ: GOOG) DoubleClick responsed to Millard by comparing the sale of remnant ads to the gem exchanges of Antwerp: “We like to think of our publisher impressions as diamonds, not pork bellies.” At the recent IAB conference, ThinkEquity analysts William Morrison and Robert Coolbrith were asked what publishers could do to work with ad nets on premium ad placement without putting their ad sales at risk? Coolbrith responded, saying publisher could seek “iron-clad” business arrangements that would keep them off site lists. But ultimately, it’s up to the publishers to monitor what is done with their advertising.

No magical platform: John Battelle, who runs the Federated Media blog ad net, weighed in with two long posts on his Searchblog. In his initial take, he said “neither the publishers nor the brand marketers believe that a magical ad platform will somehow address their needs online.” He grudgingly accepts that advertisers will spend 5-15 percent of their budget on lower-CPM “pray and spray” DR and awareness campaigns. And he figures that publishers really like seeing algorithms raising CPMs for the remnant inventory. But Battelle insists no one believes that ad networks can achieve the level of engagement provided by basic two-page print ad or a 30-second TV spot. So what’s going to happen? Battelle: “I think brands will also build the next batch of great online media companies. And up until recently, I thought Yahoo, AOL, and MSN were best positioned to be those companies. Now, I’m not so sure.”

Posted in Ad Networks, Ad/Behaviroral Targeting, Consumer Behavior, Demos & Audiences, Marketplace Trends | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Ad Networks and Exchanges to Explain Choices Open to Marketers

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 1, 2008

Article Source:

Published: April 14, 2008

What’s a network? Isn’t that a TV thing?
Not in this case. An ad network is a group of sites that a portal or a media company can sell collectively to an advertiser. But just like TV networks, the point of selling as part of a group is to increase scale and reach in an ever-fragmenting web.

Is an ad server the same thing as an ad network?
No; networks sell ads while servers, such as DoubleClick and Atlas, generally don’t. Advertisers and agencies use ad-serving technologies to simplify the ad-reporting process. Publishers use ad-serving companies to help decide which ad to show in each instance and help manage their inventory.

What do networks sell?
Some networks sell text ads, some traffic in display and others sell things like video ads and ads in video (not necessarily the same thing). Networks also differentiate themselves by how they target. You’ve got performance networks that use a variety of optimization tools to try to increase the value of often low-priced inventory; behavioral-targeting networks that use a person’s past web-surfing habits to target them with relevant ads; contextual networks that try to match an ad’s subject to that of the page on which it appears; video and widget networks that sell in, well, videos and widgets; and rep firms, which are more like an outsourced sales staff for smaller but often high-quality sites.

Who are the biggest ad networks?
AOL’s Platform A reached 91% of the online audience with 166.8 million unique visitors in January 2008, according to ComScore. It was followed by Yahoo’s network (155.8 million uniques), which includes recent acquisition Blue Lithium; the Google Networks (143.2 million uniques); and Specific Media (142.3 million uniques). And there are tons of vertical networks that specialize in certain types of audiences or sites.

Wow, that sounds confusing. How do I buy inventory from a network?
Start by figuring out what you want: general reach or a specific audience? Is your end goal action-based, like clicks or newsletter sign-ups? Or is it the more general brand-building that a site-specific rich-media network could provide? If you want clicks from a broad 18-49 target, any one of the portals or major ad networks can help by using text, display or cost-per-click-based video ads. Are you seeking a more granular audience? Perhaps a vertical ad network can help.

What’s a vertical network?
Vertical networks allow advertisers to target more specific demographics and communities: for example, male gamers aged 18-24 through or fashion-loving women 18-34 on Glam Media. Existing media companies also are getting into vertical networks to extend their online reach, including Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s Martha’s Circle or Nickelodeon’s ParentsConnect, to name a few.

If I buy a network, do I know where my ad will appear?
It depends on the network. Some networks operate blind, meaning an advertiser doesn’t know where its ads will appear. Other networks allow you to cherry-pick specific sites. (Or, as the case may be, avoid certain sites.)

I’m a publisher. What’s in it for me to get involved with a network?
Some networks will buy a publisher’s inventory and then use their targeting tools to sell it at a higher price. This is called an arbitrage model. Other networks work on a revenue-sharing basis, where they will sell your inventory for a cut of the deal. To gain contracts with lucrative publishers, many networks will guarantee a minimum amount of revenue through the agreement.

I keep hearing about ad exchanges. Explain.
The idea is borrowed from Wall Street, where buyers and sellers all trade in a central market in real time. Networks put inventory into the exchange to be bought, most often by another seller, which needs the impressions to fulfill an advertiser request. Buyers can gain access to a pool of online-ad inventory that may not have been available through any one vendor.

Posted in Ad Networks, Ad/Behaviroral Targeting | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »