Gigya Unveils Monetization Strategy: Distribution of Branded Widgets

Widget distribution company Gigya has publicly launched a distribution service for branded widgets, a premium service for advertisers that complements WildFire, its free service for the distribution of non-branded widgets.

As <a href="we described last April, WildFire helps to distribute widgets across the web by making it easy for users to install them on their social network profiles and blogs. Provide WildFire with your MySpace credentials, for example, and the service will install a widget onto your profile page, cutting out the cumbersome steps needed to install it manually.

Since Gigya has provided Wildfire as a free service for both users and widget providers, it has had to come up with a separate service to generate revenue. Gigya has opted not to incorporate advertisements into widgets, but rather to push branded widgets (think: widgets as advertisements) through its WildFire service. When WildFire users install regular, non-branded widgets on their profile pages, they will sometimes be offered branded widgets as they wait for their selected widget to install. Advertisers pay a “cost per install” that ranges between $2-5 every time a user decides to install a branded widget in addition to their original selection. The CPI is justified by the number of impressions the widget receives once spread virally over the internet.

Advertisers can track the distribution of their branded widgets with the same sort of analytic tools as provided with WildFire. They can view the number of installs and impressions (how many and where on the web), see where in the world the impressions are being made, and distinguish between original widget installations and those that have spread virally.

Gigya expects to partner with advertisers who are willing to make an investment of at least $5-10k in widget distribution. Sony BMG’s Jive Records, Kimberly-Clark and Disney have already opted to spread their branded widgets through Gigya’s distribution network, which has been running privately for a couple months. The company says that it distributes more than 300,000 widgets per day from over 400 widget production sites.

Gigya competitor Clearspring also distributes branded widgets but not in the same way as Gigya. Whereas branded widgets are suggested to users after they have installed non-branded widgets with Gigya, branded widgets are distributed as IAB standard advertisements with Clearspring. Clearspring also allows advertisers to embed their messages as “in-widget” ads.