Technorati Launches Blog Ad Network, Technorati Media

Blog-focused advertising networks are all the rage right now, with both Federated Media and Glam pulling down big valuation financing rounds in the last few months based on very early growth metrics. Other startups, like Six Apart, have launched their own blog advertising networks as well.

As we predicted, Technorati now joins them with the launch of Technorati Media later this morning (the site will be password protected until 9 am PST today), their own blog advertising network. This comes just a couple of days after news leaked of their new round of financing.

The company has been testing the new sales product with a number of partners, including BlogTalkRadio, BlogCritics, BlogCatalog, BlogTV, Technabob, GPSMagazine, GeekAlerts and NerdApproved. CEO Richard Jalichandra says these blogs reach a combined audience of approximately 17 million unique monthly visitors.

Early advertisers on the network include Honda, Acura, Toyota, t-mobile, Adobe, HP, Sandisk, MSFT, Verizon, Sun, Sony, Visa, Nike, Scion, Chevrolet, Paramount, Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Best Buy.

Technorati has explored selling ads for third party sites for some time, but this is the first time they’ve opened the service up to anyone. Unlike Glam and Federated Media, they will take all comers, and say they expect blogs, from the large players on down through the long tail, will find they do a better job monetizing sites than the current options.

Ads are sold on a CPM basis. They will not make revenue guarantees, says Jalichandra, but the split between parties is negotiable. He declined to state what rates have been negotiated with beta partners. This is similar to what Six Apart promises, which is also targeting the long tail of blogs.

Jalichandra also says Technorati is uniquely positioned to sell ads at premium rates, even through small blogs, because they will be able to use descriptive tags/keywords, along with their existing blog indexing technology, to better match ads with content.

Technorati’s has seven sales professionals, led by VP Sales Tony Pribyl, a new hire. They also hired a new marketing lead, Jennifer McLean, away from Glam recently.

For now Technorati is only working with larger blogs, although it will be open to all comers in 2-3 months.