'The Washington Post' Launches Real-Time Automated Ad Network

The Washington Post has introduced a solution for advertisers called Zeus Prime. It is intended to offer an alternative to Google and Facebook for publishers and advertisers.

The Post partnered with buy-side demand platform Polar to build the ad-buying user interface.

Zeus Prime is part of The Washington Post’s Zeus technology suite, which also includes Zeus Insights, supporting next-generation targeting, and Zeus Performance, focused on experience-driven performance. 

Publishers are able to license Zeus Prime by itself, but to join the ad network being built by The Washington Post, they must license all three Zeus products.

The new product will, for now, allow Washington-based clients to “purchase seamless, high-performing formats against inventory directly on the Washington Post in real time,” Vice President of Commercial Technology and Development Jarrod Dicker wrote on the newspaper's blog.

Buyers can take advantage of a “one-click” system that requires no design or development work, coding or additional approvals. Through the system, a campaign is able to launch in a single day.  

Over the next year, the company plans to add additional local and national media companies to the network. Advertisers will also be able to take advantage of the tool, ultimately creating a “marketplace of trusted media properties for agencies and brands to buy directly into” through the suite.

Joy Robins, Chief Revenue Officer at The Washington Post, told Axios she expects the revenue generated from Zeus Prime product will be “significant,” with the company looking toward eight figures.

This is possible because of the low cost to license the software. Rates vary by client, but Dicker told Axios clients are “at the low-volume range, half million annually and at the high range, in the millions.”

Axios notes that because Zeus Prime allows publishers to remove third-party tech vendors from their supply chains, they can bring in more revenue.

Dicker told the outlet he believes publishers will have the potential to earn $10 minimum CPM under Zeus Prime, compared to the average of $2 minimum CPM they see now with outside vendors. "Advertising today for publishers is on opposite ends; it's either very premium for custom experiences or very cheap for audience targeting. We want to bring demand back to the middle. If we do that, we'll be bringing an entirely new revenue opportunity for publishers to band together and really take on Big Tech companies."

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