Our initial talks with Marchex started about a year before we finalized acquiring the IndustryBrains division. From the Adiant perspective, we were always impressed with the predominately financial focused publishers IndustryBrains worked with. By pulling those sites into our Adblade network as well, and combining IndustryBrains with the Adblade ad serving technology (OptiServe), we’re able to give those publishers more revenue opportunities and products while also making the sites available to a drastically larger advertiser base.
The Makegood: How will this deal be a big help to publishers and advertisers?
The short answer is that IndustryBrains has great advertisers and publishers with a high degree of focus on Finance and B2B verticals. Adblade combines top quality advertisers and publishers with our proprietary technology, ultimately more focused on a B2C audience. Adblade has been our flagship product for years, and we’ve worked with some of the largest publishers online, serving our NewsBullet units at the bottom of articles.
IndustryBrains has been in the same space doing text links, and has built an equally great publisher base. Pairing that on top of our consumer network was natural, and it allows us to expand greatly into the financial vertical. The combined Adblade and IndustryBrains offering is now one of the largest financial ad platforms online, and in total the acquisition gives us the largest content-style ad platform on the web.
IndustryBrains brings premium publishers that can now become part of Adblade’s network, and it brings advertisers who now have access to Adblade inventory. This brings higher quality advertisers into the Adblade network, while Adblade gives the IB publishers better tech and better revenue opportunities through custom, highly flexible ad units.
The Makegood: One of Adiant’s great revenue drivers thus far has been the NewsBullet units. These have been great resources to publishers. Can you talk about what makes NewsBullet so great and how you see it developing in the future?
Adblade’s NewsBullet units have been successful because they look and feel like content. Consumers are completely blind to standard IAB banners, but we’ve seen that when they finish reading an article, they’re still hungry for more content. As such, they respond to these “content-style” units that appear as thumbnails with headlines, often placed at the bottom of an article.
There’s lots of buzz right now around “native advertising,” which is a paid placement that is designed to fit in with the rest of the content on a site, often in the form of “advertorial.” We don’t really consider ourselves part of that – in fact, native is something of a subset of content-style advertising. The goal of native is to keep users on a site interacting with that sponsored content, which goes against the overall goals of advertising. The beauty of online advertising is that you can immediately drive users to convert – native advertising is more of a softer sell.
Our NewsBullet units drive users off the site, are highly trackable, and outperform other vendors for most of our partners, so publishers are eager to bring in these high-performing, revenue generating units.
We’ve also seen many brands use our NewsBullets to drive traffic to earned media. Companies will spend huge amounts of time and effort on PR to get an article placed on a site, but the rapid news cycle often drives these articles off the homepage within hours. Using Newsbullets keeps these articles on the top news sites for days, weeks or even months at a time at a very low cost.
The Makegood: As an Ad Platform, you must be dealing with some advertising fraud issues, what are you doing to combat this?
No one is really immune from fraud issues right now, so of course we’re dealing with this, but we’ve been able to implement measures that shield our advertisers from fraud or impressions generated by bots. Because we deal primarily in our proprietary NewsBullet units, rather than standard IAB units, we have greater control over the publisher base.
We only deal with a limited number of extremely high quality, high volume publishers to begin with, limiting the potential for fraud issues compared to other platforms. We’ve also had the highest AdSafe score in the industry for the last three years, so we must be doing something right!
We never work with long-tail publishers, which helps us avoid many of these problems to begin with. We’re also able to spot traffic spikes on our partner sites, so we can detect bot attacks even when they happen on legitimate publishers and keep that inventory from hitting the market.
The Makegood: As CEO of Adiant, you are in charge of a great part of the company’s direction. Where do you plan on taking Adiant in the wake of this new purchase?
We’re in the middle of a hot area of online advertising, and we are in a very good place to make acquisitions. We now have one of the largest networks of financial publishers, as well as perhaps the largest content-style ad platform on the web. So, as advertisers continue to look for high performing ad inventory, and publishers look for revenue opportunities, we’ll continue to refine our products to better serve those two constituencies.
The Makegood: Thank you, Ash