Its Malibu Media Platform plans to automate many of the functions that are important to buyers and sellers by using algorithms to find the best offer for available ad inventory.
But unlike other Web-based efforts of the past -- such as eBay -- it won't be an auction system. This is something media sellers have long avoided, which they say tends to cheapen and commoditize their inventory.
Spot Runner says Malibu will not only help media buyers find inventory more quickly, but will also offer better strategic insight through data analysis from proprietary and third-party providers. No word yet on which agencies are using the system.
Malibu will enable sellers to control inventory and pricing; create campaigns and orders; submit and clear creative; generate and confirm trafficking instructions; deliver on-demand campaign reports; and manage credit and invoicing.
Spot Runner has had a rocky past. After it received much attention and attracted investor interest some years ago, it ran into legal challenges. WPP Group, which invested about $12 million in Spot Runner, sued the company in April. Although the suit was dismissed in September, WPP refiled its complaint.