Industry Brain's other ad product, IBContent, serves contextual text ads, and is site-targeted. The new release, IBGraphics, only allows marketers to target categories--but allows graphical ads to be served on a CPM basis, rather than text ads for CPC.
According to Elke Wong, vice president of marketing for Industry Brains, the network was designed to allow publishers to gain an additional revenue stream from the network, without cutting into their own ad sales. "This program allows publishers to maintain their sales force," she said. "We don't want to cannibalize the sales efforts of our publishers." For that reason, she said, the graphic ad network does not allow advertisers to target individual sites, but rather places them across whole categories, if the marketer places the highest bid.
The sites participating in the CPM network at launch include PCWorld.com, NetworkWorld.com, and Businessweek.com. The categories available at launch are technology, business and finance, and real estate, but Industry Brains plans to build out more shortly, Wong said.
Wong also said the network would provide an opportunity for lower-budget advertisers to get their graphical ads on sites like Businessweek.com, since the cost of bidding on a CPM ad on the network would be lower than buying the ad space directly from the publisher. "This is a good way for publishers to offer a program to smaller mom and pops," she said.