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New Content-Driven Ad Network Partners With Time Inc. and Meredith

OneSpot takes aim at big brands

Programmatic evolves with content-based systems.

With the content marketing and native advertising scene getting increasingly crowded with tech players such as Outbrain, Sharethrough and Nativo, just to name a few, OneSpot thinks it's found an edge on those competitors.

The Austin, Texas-based marketing vendor, which has big clients such Johnson & Johnson, Intel and Whole Foods, today is unveiling an ad platform with Time Inc. and Meredith's branded content studios as well as content players Contently, Group SJR, NewsCred and Sway Group. In essence, OneSpot's system is pitched as a data-rich, one-stop shop for marketers looking to find proven fodder for ads that can run across major publisher sites and social destinations such as Facebook. 

"Instead of basing [content efforts] simply on the brand goals, they can base it in part on actual data that we have, in terms of how content is successfully distributed and sequenced," said Adam Weinroth, OneSpot chief marketing officer. "These pieces have been siloed. We are bringing them together for big brands."

The system's anonymous, aggregated data will help brands not only select winning content, but also deliver it in the form of targeted ads, Weinroth said. And marketers—who perhaps haven't worked with branding studios like the ones cultivated by Time and Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM)—can test out interesting material through the new programmatic-style content exchange, which is dubbed OneSpot Content Partner Network.

"We're thrilled to be a front-end content development resource for OneSpot clients looking to unlock Time Inc.'s storytelling expertise to make the most of the platform's powerful scale and technology," Chris Schraft, president of Time Inc. Content Solutions, said in a statement. "Together with OneSpot's strategic approach to distribution, we can provide advertisers with a single resource that helps them engage audiences across the campaign value chain."

OneSpot and its partners are attempting to advance a larger trend of turning editorial and user-generated content into effective advertising. With display ad performance often leaving a lot to be desired, it's not surprising.

For months, Web marketing leader Google has been developing systems and spreading the word that its future advertising will bring content, creativity and programmatic together. And OneSpot—as well as competitors like Outbrain—also hopes to prove out that notion.

But it remains to be seen if brand budgets will materially shift toward these kinds of buys.

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