Friday, July 15, 2011

Start-Up Watch COD: Shiny Ads Drives Revenue for Pubs From Thousands of Small Advertisers

Most pubs are focused on ad revenue as their primary source of income. Many have sales forces to sell direct, and then offer up the rest to exchanges and ad networks that can backfill -- albeit at far lower CPMs. It stands to reason, then, that if a service could help pubs sell more inventory direct, then pubs could realize a higher average CPM and higher total revenue.

For most pubs, small and local advertisers are difficult to service directly because the costs of direct sales outweigh the revenue to be gained from this class of marketer. If an advertiser is spending a few thousand per month, having them work with an internal person quickly wipes out any margin advantage. This is why so many pubs have minimums of $10K-$25K before they will consider taking business.

A Toronto-based start-up called Shiny Ads is out to change this dynamic by providing a plug and play ad sales solution that makes it possible to accept small contracts profitably. The key to their model is a self serve experience that lets the small advertiser identify their goals and targeting parameters and pay for inventory by credit card. All costly labor intensive tasks have been automated so the publisher can make real money on these small accounts.

Pubs can begin working with Shiny Ads by filling out a simple form that asks for the pubs monthly unique and content categories, as well as which ad serving platform it uses. From there, the publisher simply embeds the Shiny Ads experience into it existing Advertiser pages. Instead of incurring all of the people costs for serving <$5000 monthly accounts, Shiny Ads customers get to offer a modular buying experience demonstrated to drive high conversions.

In exchange, the pub pays a percentage of all dollars sold through Shiny Ads. Fees range from 20-25%, though very large sites can also explore custom pricing models with Shiny Ads.

The full feature set of Shiny Ads includes:

•Seamless integration with DFP, OpenX, AdGear, Appnexus, Adtech and GaM
•Support for any banner size and text size you offer
•A DIY banner builder so that small businesses without existing creative can quickly make attractive units to run on your site
•Flexibility to sell on any pricing model from CPM to CPC to CPD
•End to end financial solution that charges the client and quickly delivers your revenue share
Their interesting and informative intro video is here:

Introduction to Shiny Ads' Self-Service Advertising Platform from Shiny Ads on Vimeo.

I like the Shiny Ads approach because they have so simplified the process of integrating their offering and working with small advertisers. I would imagine that setting up a system through which to capitalize on this revenue opportunity is on a lot of pubs’ to do lists. But rather far down in the priorities because of the time and expense they would incur to create a home grown approach. With Shiny Ads, pubs can quickly get started and ensure that they are not leaving a lot of small advertiser dollars on the table.

Small advertisers really do hold the potential to make a serious difference to pub revenue and profitability. Shiny Ads just made it a lot tougher to overlook that opportunity!

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