The yet unnamed group plans to sell advertising across each company’s websites, apps and YouTube channels as it attempts to compete against YouTube. Publishers that participate in the independent ad space “will share ad revenue based on the amount of ads they deliver,” says the WSJ.
According to the report, the new alliance members are also talking to Discovery Inc., which is a major investor in Group Nine, and several other media companies.
The intent is to offer a space where advertisers can buy inventory that is guaranteed to appear next to trusted content from publisher members, rather than some of the questionable or offensive content their ads may appear next to on platforms like YouTube.
The WSJ reports YouTube is estimated to bring in more than $15 billion in ad revenue annually.
“We continue to hear from clients that they’re looking for a more brand-safe environment, but still need the scale they get on the platforms,” Christa Carone, president of Group Nine Media, whose brands include NowThis, Thrillist and The Dodo, told the WSJ.
The alliance members anticipate landing larger ad deals once it kicks off.
BuzzFeed, Group Nine and Insider have a combined 100 million subscribers across their YouTube networks, and generate over 1 billion video views through their websites and apps monthly, they told the WSJ,
Advertisers, for their part, stated that publishers will need to come up with unique offerings that go beyond large audiences and brand-safe environments.
The news of the alliance follows The Washington Post’s launch of a real-time automated ad network.