Digg's chief revenue officer joins image-based ad network.
Chas Edwards, chief revenue officer and publisher at Digg, is leaving the company in the wake of its ruinous relaunch. He'll join image-based ad network Pixazza in a similar role.
Update: Digg has also moved to reduce its headcount from 67 to 42 as part of a cost-cutting initiative. With the layoffs, which will affect more than a third of staff, the company hopes to achieve profitability next year, new CEO Matt Williams wrote in a blog post today.
Pixazza monetizes online images with transactional features and display advertising. Publishers have enthusiastically signed up, boosting its audience reach from 25 million in July to 40 million this month, according to Quantcast. The firm recently secured $12 million in funding, and is partially backed by Google.
Edwards' title is chief revenue officer and publisher development, and he has dual oversight of publisher and advertiser relationships. "His background uniquely qualifies him for both functions," Pixazza CEO Bob Lisbonne told ClickZ.
In a post to his personal blog, Edwards wrote of his new job, "My ultimate goal is to serve audiences by unlocking photo content as a revenue-driver, which helps both advertisers and publishers move their businesses forward."
Edwards has for the past 18 months led Digg's monetization efforts, an increasingly challenging prospect in the wake of an unpopular revamp in August. After a loud user revolt, the company apologized for disappointing the site's community and committed to bringing back several features it had killed off with the redesign.
It's unclear what impact the bungled relaunch will have on the site's advertising. For the moment, Digg appears committed to continuing its overall monetization strategy of engaging users with ads that ape its organic content experience. For instance, with a recent evolution of its year-old Digg Ads format, the company says it will automatically serve any ad a user "diggs" to friends who follow that person's feed.
At least one of Digg's new ad products appears not to be gaining momentum. In August the company began offering free sponsored accounts, allowing brands like Red Bull and GE to post and "digg" stories and to be followed by the site's regular users. After an initial bump in interest, some of those accounts now appear to be struggling. For instance, Red Bull and Electric Artists both quickly amassed more than 2,000 followers when their accounts launched in August. Two months later neither has surpassed 5,000.
Edwards said he will continue to serve Digg in an advisory capacity, supporting the company's ambitions for its ad platform.
Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!
Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.
An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.
September 23, 2014
September 30, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT
October 23, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT