Third-party online ad networks have gotten a reputation for selling reach across poor-quality inventory. Now, Complex Media Network, a collection of style and entertainment sites for cool, young guys, is taking pains to show it’s not just another network.
When Complex Media Network relaunches its flagship site, Complex.com, on Jan. 11, the site will take the unusual step of aggregating content from its partner sites, many of which are niche sites focused on sneakers, gaming and hip-hop. Complex.com, founded by fashion designer Marc Ecko and counterpart to a monthly magazine, also has begun co-creating and sharing content with its partner sites.
“We’re trying to defend ourselves as a premium content network,” said Rich Antoniello, CEO of the Complex Media Network. “This is a good way to further show the quality of content we as a team and overall network bring to the table.”
Along with the site relaunch, Complex is adding entertainment site JoBlo.com from another ad network, Gorilla Nation. It’s also adding a soccer site, TheOriginalWinger.com, to appeal to the sport’s growing avid fan base. Those additions bring Complex’s network to a total of 51 sites, which it claims represent 25 million uniques.
“There were several reasons for the change, but we really liked how Complex was more 'niche' and had less clients under their wing, which would mean greater time/concentration on each one,” said Berge Garabedian, founder and owner of JoBlo Media. He also said it's an opportunity to grow advertiser diversity.