AdSemble launches self-serve tools for digital billboard advertising

“We’re not a media company, we’re a tech company” — that’s a common refrain in the advertising and media business, but it looks like AdSemble has been particularly patient in making that transition.

The company was founded back in 2008, and as described by founder and CEO Matthew Olivieri, in its early days it served as “a media buying service that was brokering deals manually” between the people who wanted to buy ads on digital billboards and the businesses who owned those billboards.

Even so, Olivieri said, “From day one we were always calling ourselves a technology company. We always aspired to have a technology piece, a product piece that would unlock this process.”

That’s what AdSemble is announcing today — a self-serve product where out-of-home media companies can manage the process of selling digital billboard space to advertisers. Olivieri said his team has been working to perfect the product for the past three years.

AdSemble screenshot

Again, this is something for the billboard-owners, not the advertisers themselves. Features include an overview of every billboard in your inventory, analytics data about each campaign and the ability to accept or reject individual bids from advertisers.

Olivieri said AdSemble will continue to offer more hands-on, full-service options, but it plans to bring on many new advertisers on a self-serve basis, particularly as the company launching in two new markets, New York City and Los Angeles. (AdSemble says it currently represents 277 sign locations in its first two cities, Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area.)

Next up: Building a similar system for ad-buyers. That means parts of the business, at least, should eventually be running as a fully automated marketplace.