Revenue Science Launches Behavioral Targeting Network
The Audience Search Network extends Revenue Science's existing business model, which is built on tracking consumers' behavior within a site and then serving ads within that same site. For the network, Revenue Science will pool together consumers who exhibit high-value behavior--such as showing an interest in purchasing a car or consumer electronics--regardless of which site Revenue Science first tracked them on, and then serving those consumers ads as they surf the Web.
Revenue Science's behavioral network aims to target high value consumers by tracking their browsing habits with cookies, and then to allow its publishers to share those audiences to other publishers, sharing the revenue gained by serving targeted ads to the high-value customers. The audience-sharing scheme began a month ago, with three of Revenue Science's publishers - Bolt Media, which targets mainly teen and college student audiences, and two other publishers that Revenue Science declined to release.
Other companies, including Claria, aQuantive and Tacoda Systems recently started their own versions of behavioral ad networks. Tacoda CEO Dave Morgan said that Revenue Science's entry into the market shows that behavioral targeting is "maturing." "It is a sign of the growing demand among online advertisers for reaching targeted audiences at scale, and we expect to see a number of other entrants into this space before the year is out," he said.
Paul Edelhertz, senior vice president and general manager of the Revenue Science Network, said Edelhertz said that Revenue Science was responding to demand from its publisher and advertiser partners to increase their online ad spends. "The real demand we're trying to fulfill is taking all this offline money that's being spent disproportionately in television and print advertising and enabling that money to be spent online," he said. "That's what our agencies and advertisers are looking for."
One possible pitfall for behavioral targeting networks is that publishers might balk at sharing their most valuable audiences--from an advertising point of view--with competitors. Revenue Science says its publishing partners control the data the company collects, however, and publishers who join the network can pick and choose whom their audiences can be shared with. "To do this in a really well aligned publisher-friendly way, the control is very important," Edelhertz said. According to Edelhertz, Revenue Science plans to expand the network soon. Publisher categories the company hopes to add are travel and financial services.