Federated Expands Long Tail Ad Empire to WordPress

24M bloggers can opt-in to ad network

Wordpress.com blogs just got ad-friendlier. On the heels of its acquisition of Lijit Networks, Federated Media Publishing has struck a deal to expand its ad network further, offering WordPress.com bloggers the ability to tap into its monetization tools. The opt-in service will give Federated the opportunity to represent the open source platform’s 24 million blogs and sites. Federated announced the news today at its Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. 

The news follows Federated’s Oct. 4 acquisition of Lijit Networks, a long tail ad network that’s touted itself as publisher-friendly thanks to its lack of contracts and exclusivity agreements. Lijit’s network has around 75,000 publishers; Federated’s light integration of the company will consist of merely offering Lijit’s publisher tools to its own clients, Federated CEO Deanna Brown told Adweek.

The bloggers’ contracts with Federated will exist within the framework of WordPress.com’s terms of service. The company, which pays WordPress.com for the business, earns a profit by taking a cut of the ad revenues served by its publishers.

The deal is not Federated’s first attempt to work with a blogging platform and likely won't be its last. The company had an arrangement with Six Apart, which built TypePad, Vox, and LiveJournal, but that partnership expired because it didn’t “work for advertisers,” Brown said.

When asked if Federated would pursue more partnerships like the WordPress.com one, Brown said she “could imagine we will continue growing relationships with all kinds of independent Web publishing partners.” Which we interpret to mean yes, expect Federated to strike more deals to serve long tail ads across popular open source blogging platforms.

Federated’s ad options will become available to WordPress.com bloggers starting in the first quarter of next year.