TechMedia Network, a network of tech and science Web sites with a global reach of over 72 million, is expected to today announce a native advertising offering that will span all of TMN's owned-and-operated sites, which include its partner sites. In addition, TMN has built a content discovery platform that will recommend native ads based on consumer behavior patterns. TMN's new native offering will be for direct deals.
Mike Kisseberth, the company's chief revenue officer, spoke exclusively with RTM Daily about the launch. It's the first marketing product since TMN acquired Bestofmedia Group, which added Tom's brand technology properties to TMN's existing properties. ComScore ranks TMN fifth in global tech media reach and third domestically.
Living up to the "native" moniker, the company plans to use their editorial leadership to guide the content of the ads. To gear up for that, TMN today announced the appointments of Fritz Nelson and Mark Spoonauer as editors in chief of respective Tom's brand properties. A TMN representative told RTM Daily that Nelson and Spoonauer are expected to help guide the content of the native ads.
Kisseberth called the content discovery platform, which was developed by TMN's science team, the "special sauce" of the native ad program. "We enable them to discover content via contextual and data targeting across multiple platforms," he said. "It can recommend content based on who the person is and their content consumption behavior."
Previously, the company used outside content discovery platforms, like Outbrain and Adblade, and would sell inventory on Google's DoubleClick Ad Exchange. By bringing a content discovery platform in-house, Kisseberth shared that the company hopes that they will be able to "make a premium over what those other players in the space would generate. We will eat that inventory up."
In theory, this will lower the amount of inventory TMN is putting into the open real-time bidding (RTB) exchanges. However, Kisseberth doesn't see this as investing less in programmatic. He views it as investing in a different way.
"By bringing the premium program into the mix, we create scarcity in the programmatic [inventory]. Hopefully, that will drive up CPM," he said. "We think there will be a natural balance between the two. There will always be programmatic in the mix, but our goal is to work the premium and the programmatic levers that we have at our disposal."