Adobe, Gigya Work Together to Distribute, Measure Widgets

Software publisher Adobe and Widget distribution network Gigya are collaborating to provide a solution for publishers and advertisers. Currently named Project Radiate, the initiative is on track to be released this summer and will allow for easy creation, distribution, scheduling, tracking, and analytics of widgets, said Gigya CEO Dave Yovanno.

Adobe will update its software platforms, including Flash, Dreamweaver, and Air, and make Gigya technology native so developers can build in the social and distribution functions of their widgets. “I look at this as Gigya’s being the Intel Inside,” said Yovanno. A layer of analytics is also built into the software to track user activity.

The updates will be included in new versions of the software. Existing license holders of the software will be able to download the extensions for free.

“A lot of development [went into] enhancing Adobe’s core analytics capabilities, and track all things unique to widgets, where widgets are posted, how long they stay there, how many views, and custom actions,” said Yovanno.

While widgets are a form of advertising, “these things are not banners, they’re mini-Web sites,” said Yovanno. The analytics piece “is like embedding Hitwise or Omniture into your Web site.”

Under another component, Gigya and Adobe are collaborating on the creation of a platform for creative agencies to register their widgets, akin to a media dashboard.

He likened the platform to DoubleClick or Atlas dashboards that ad agencies and advertisers use to buy ads, according to Yovanno. “What Adobe has built, advertisers can now register these widgets in the platform, schedule distribution and all of the screens for flight based on target audience, pricing. All this is done on a self-serve fashion,” he said.

Scheduling the campaign and analytics on the platform are free; distribution is paid on a cost-per-install basis. Yovanno said pricing generally ranges from $1 to $4 depending on the way an application is built and the target the advertisers are trying to reach. Advertising revenues are split between Adobe and Gigya.

Gigya reports it has over 180 million monthly unique widget users worldwide and supports a heavy enough volume to minimize the cost per install. Without automated distribution, he said an advertiser might have to spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, for the installation of widgets. Gigya, he said, is able to reduce widget distribution costs for advertisers. “The millions of widgets we install per day, we can get the cost per install down very effectively,” said Yovanno. Cost per install varies based on complexity of the widget, steps required by the user to install, and layers of behavioral and contextual targeting applied within the ad or widget network.

The collaboration, known currently as Project Radiate, was discussed on a panel at the iMedia Breakthrough Summit yesterday. The project is currently in beta with a few advertisers, who were not named. Final details of the project is expected to be announced within a few months, likely over the summer.

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