Digital advertising company OpenX announced today that it’s launching a new service called Revenue Intelligence, allowing online publishers to calculate and increase the amount of ad revenue that each piece of content is earning.
Last fall, OpenX acquired JumpTime, which provided a similar service. OpenX’s new Revenue Intelligence team is being led by JumpTime co-founder Anke Audenaert, and the company says it’s “blending” OpenX ad tech with JumpTime’s technology.
Traditionally, the editorial and advertising sides of a publication have been treated as “two separate areas,” Audenaert said, while her goal is to bring “a holistic view to revenue management.” With that approach, instead of just trying to maximize pageviews, publishers can try to build a content strategy that’s directly tied to making more money.
To do that, OpenX provides something that Audenaert called “almost the inverse of PageRank.” Like Google’s search algorithm, she said Revenue Intelligence doesn’t look at a page in isolation, but also at the content that each page is linking to. In this case, it’s using real-time data to figure out how many views each link is likely to generate, and combining that with the ad revenue that’s being earned on each piece of linked content, and then calculating the total value of any given piece of content. In other words, OpenX looks “beyond the first click” and determines how much value the content will earn across each user’s visit.
Audenaert said that OpenX has already been testing Revenue Intelligence with some large newspapers and major magazines, and she acknowledged that some of them have a strong “church and state” division between editors and advertisers.
“We don’t need to take that away,” Audenaert said. For many of these publishers, there’s going to be a core of “hard news articles we won’t touch” and that won’t be very lucrative from an ad perspective. However, publishers can use OpenX technology to point their hard news readers to other pieces of content “that may be softer news, that may have an element of monetization. You don’t have to monetize on the first click.”
She added that this approach could be seen as “bringing the bundle for back for newspapers.” In other words, newspapers have traditionally combined sections that are less profitable (like hard news) with ones that make more money (like lifestyle content) into a single package. Online news consumption has broken that bundle apart, but Audenaert said publishers can bring some of it back by turning each article into a homepage that points readers to the rest of their content.
Those early tests have shown revenue increases of 30 percent to 90 percent, OpenX says. Audenaert also said that even though the technology could be potentially useful to small publishers, the company is focusing on the top 50 or top 100 news publishers for now, because they have “the biggest need.”