Ad Network To Reward Publishers For Bringing In Advertisers

Contextual ad network adMarketplace this morning launches a new initiative designed to give publishers an incentive to solicit advertisers for the network--even if those advertisers ultimately abandon the publishers who brought them in and instead advertise with competitors. The plan involves paying publishers residual fees on all ad revenue generated by advertisers they refer.

Jim Waltz, founder and CEO of adMarketplace, said that the program gives publishers "a chance to create a long-term annuity with advertisers they introduce to adMarketplace."

To sign up advertisers, publishers place a link on their company Web sites that redirects the advertisers to a co-branded registration page for adMarketplace's network. If the advertisers eventually sign up for the network, the referring publishers will receive a commission on the revenue generated from that advertiser throughout the entire network. Waltz declined to state what percent of ad revenue the publisher would receive.

JupiterResearch analyst Niki Scevak called the program "smart," saying that adMarketplace should expect to gain more advertisers through the "risk-free" publisher program.

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Still, questions remain about whether publishers will adopt the program, said Scevak. He added that a publisher who refers advertisers to the program runs the risk of cannibalizing his own ad revenue if those advertisers desert him for another competing publisher in the network.

Like Google and Overture, adMarketplace is an auction-based cost-per-click network. But adMarketplace distributes graphical ads, and unlike text-based ad networks, displays only one ad at a time--making the top spot all that much more competitive. Top ads are shown first, and then the second-highest bidder's ad is shown after a user lands on a matching content page, then the third, and so on. The process continues in the same fashion, so lower bidders receive less exposure.

Currently, there are approximately 100 publishers and 1,000 advertisers in adMarketplace's graphical, contextual network, which launched in early December. Ad units are available in banners, leaderboards, skyscrapers, pop-ups, and pop-unders. Waltz declined to name any publishers or advertisers in the network. Previously, he said that many of the publishers were of travel, dating, or finance sites.

adMarketplace's advertisers can target their ads by keyword or content category. The minimum bid is 30 cents a click, and advertisers must commit to $100 once they open up an adMarketplace account. In the adMarketplace network, advertisers can view competitive bids, ads, and linking URLs.

adMarketplace technology also powers eBay Keywords, an on-site search marketing program for eBay buyers and sellers that lets them bid on search terms for top placement on eBay's search engine.

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