FAST Search and Transfer, the European based search giant, today announced software that allows online publishers to serve contextual ads to their readers.
This is a software package installed in a publisher's data center. FAST says that it could also be used by a third party to offer a ready made online contextual advertising network that could be used to service many smaller online publishers such as blog networks. This means it could be used to compete with up and coming advertising networks such as FM Advertising, and AdBrite.
Publishers collect between 30 per cent to 70 per cent of the revenues that their advertising network partners receive--an amount that varies according to each deal. Google doesn't disclose the revenue split.
With AdMomentum, large publishers can establish their own advertising networks that support contextual ads, and also offer a wide variety of other types of advertising revenue such as impressions, pay per click, and also auctions.
Advertisers have a self-service interface and the software API is compatible with current advertisement tracking tools.
More than a dozen large publishers around the world have been beta testing the software.
Perry Solomon, VP of strategic market development at FAST, said: "AdMomentum can be used to target ads to specific groups of people. One of our customers in Norway is using it to target ads to people on a street by street basis."
"This is a way for publishers to capture the share of the revenues that have been going to the advertising networks," he added. "The publishers already have advertisers, and they have the content, they don't need the advertising networks. We can provide them with a revenue engine."
Nearly one-half of Google's revenues in the past, have come from its AdSense network, which serves advertising on sites owned by online publishers. Large publishers such as New York Times, Knight-Ridder, and Time-Warner use AdSense.
Foremski's Take: This is potentially a game changing product and strategy. It brings back the advertiser relationship to the publisher--where it belongs.
For example, I've always wondered why the New York Times would run AdSense on its online front page, and the AdSense ads carry a text link at the bottom "advertise on this site." That says to everyone "we have no clue how to monetise this space and have handed over the customer relationship to a third party." That is suicide in today's world.
The advertising networks take a huge cut considering that they establish self-service advertising interfaces and run a bunch of servers and some software. Well, now the publishers can now do the same and cut out the middleman.
I can also see AdMomentum being used by local newspapers to essentially become the "AdSense" for their regions. They could sign up smaller online publishers within their local towns and neighborhoods and provide a much better targeted service to businesses and residents.
This could also apply to a large tech publisher such as CNET (the publisher of ZDNet) it could sign up smaller tech publishers to its ad network and serve up targetted ads that don't include potato chips on chip stories.
FAST is headquartered in Norway and is publicly traded under the ticker symbol 'FAST' on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The FAST Group operates globally with presence in Europe, the United States, Asia, Australia, the Americas, and the Middle East. For further information about FAST, please visit www.fastsearch.com.