NEW YORK Revenue Science said it has formed a new ad network that targets ads based on user behavior across several sites.
The network is meant to address a shortcoming of behavioral targeting: the inability to build large enough segments when only collecting user behavior on a single site. Revenue Science's network allows advertisers to deliver brand advertising to audiences formed by data pooled by participating sites. Revenue Science did not announce which of the sites that use its software, which include WSJ.com, FT.com and Reuters.com, would participate.
Bellevue, Wash.-based Revenue Science's Audience Search Network comes a month after competitor Tacoda Systems announced plans to launch a similar network. Both companies provide behavioral targeting software to publishers, which use it to target ads based on consumer site use. For example, a news site user who visited the automotive section three times in one week could be shown a car ad the next week when in the sports section. The audience data is used for targeting and not actually transferred.
Publishers can participate in the network by either contributing audience information for campaigns running on other sites; buying the information for campaigns on their own site; or using their own audience data to extend ad campaigns on other sites in the network.
"It's almost like a virtual private ad network for publishers," said Paul Edelhertz, senior vice president and general manager of the Revenue Science network.
By tying this capability into a network, Revenue Science and Tacoda hope to be able to enable advertisers to run campaigns with wide reach. Tacoda has not announced any publishers participating in its network, although it said it would reach 30 percent of U.S. Internet users when it launches. Revenue Science said its network reaches 70 percent of users.
Edelhertz said Revenue Science would overcome publishers' wariness of sharing their audience data with strict controls and the ability to choose which sites in the network can buy it. All publishers set the price for audience data used.
"The two big things are that you give them control and you give them economic incentive," he said.