Tacoda to Serve Behavioral-Targeted Ads Across Network

NEW YORK Tacoda, known for its behavioral-targeting services, said today that it has started to serve text-based ads based on a user’s actions across a network of Web sites.

Called AudienceMatch Network, the new offering combines behavioral targeting with nonpersonal demographic data to reach defined audience segments, determined by information collected and maintained by each site in the network to cluster online consumers with common interests.

Addressing possible privacy issues, Tacoda CEO Dave Morgan said in a statement, “It only uses cookies and does not involve any personally identifiable information. It meets the highest privacy standards anywhere on the Internet.”

The offering is comparable to contextual advertising programs from players like Google and Yahoo!’s Overture, which serve text-based ads on Web pages that carry the keywords advertisers in their database have bid on. Rather than bidding on keywords, however, Tacoda’s product has advertisers vying for audience segments, such as in-market auto buyers, business travelers and technology early adopters, in an open auction system.

Over the next two months, the network will operate with 60 sites, like USAToday.com, and about 100 advertisers, such as Vonage. It has the potential to reach an audience of about 45 million individuals per month, or more than 30 percent of the U.S. Internet audience.

By mid-January, when Tacoda hopes to have 1,000 sites and 1,000 advertisers on board, the network is expected to reach more than 85 million individuals, representing about 60 percent of the monthly Web universe in the U.S.

Unlike ad networks, advertisers will pay for leads on a per-click basis instead of buying impressions. Ad revenue will be split between Tacoda and each participating Web site, depending on a variety of factors including who sold the ad, where it will run and whose audience segments it will reach.