It’s been a rough year for newspapers and magazines and everyone seems to be grasping at straws right now. While most publications understand that their future is going to be some where online, very few have figured out how to make this economically feasible.
The LA Times is reporting that an LA based tech company is stepping up and claiming that they can solve the online woes of newspapers. Rubicon Project is an ad base server that is hoping to be “the Nasdaq of online advertising.”
“Google controls 22 percent of online advertising,” founder Frank Addante told the Times. According to him, though, the rest is “up for grabs.”
The firm specializes in an arcane technology called ad optimization, which addresses a major leak in the online rowboat: About three-quarters of ad inventory (places where ads could go on Web pages) goes unsold by publishers. To fill those spaces, publishers turn to ad networks, whose automated systems try to approximate the right kind of ad for the particular audience, based on the page content — fishing-boat ads for “Field and Stream,” for instance — the viewer’s geographic or demographic information, or his or her previous online behavior, what’s called the click-stream. The more cogent and relevant the ads are to the user, the better the return on investment for the advertiser…
Addante claims that Rubicon’s programming—processing about 1 trillion rows of data daily—is supple enough to adjust what the ad users see in real time, in a way that can keep up with the newspaper websites’ traffic volatility.
According to the founders, this type of specialized targeting will raise ad revenue 60 percent. Seems like a lofty promise. Lets see if newspapers buy into it.