Advertising.com to Manage Video Ads for News Corp./NBC Venture

News Corporation and NBC Universal’s upcoming video network needs an ad management platform. It comes as little surprise Advertising.com is charged with the task, considering News Corp. and NBC’s distribution partner AOL is its parent company. Advertising.com will serve up video and display ads on the to-be-named site and in players on partner sites through the Lightningcast video ad management system it acquired last year for its own massive ad network. Advertising.com will also make unsold inventory from the new venture available to advertisers using its broader network.

“It just so happens our distribution partners represent folks that have ad-serving technologies,” said George Kliavkoff, NBC Universal chief digital officer and interim leader of the new business. Content from the joint operation will also be distributed on MSN and Yahoo, both of which have their own ad management systems. News Corp.’s MySpace is an initial distribution partner as well.

Content from News Corp., NBC TV, and other unnamed networks and film studios will reside on a site set to launch this summer, as well as on customized players embedded on distribution partner sites and users’ sites.

Along with a new sales team offering the new network inventory, sales forces at News Corp. and NBC will sell the inventory as part of their existing operations. Dealing with multiple sales teams and distribution partners is bound to complicate ad delivery, trafficking, tracking, and reporting for the new network, Kliavkoff said. “It’s a complex but not a unique selling situation,” he continued. “We were pleased that Advertising.com had a solution which was ready to go to the market.”

According to Advertising.com president Lynda Clarizio, the content partners were looking for a campaign management platform and a means to monetize unsold ad inventory, essentially the main service Advertising.com provides for the publishers in its network.

“This is a video-focused alliance,” said Clarizio. Advertising.com’s Lightningcast already handles video ad campaign management for AOL, Comcast, Scripps Network, Reuters, and others.

“The majority of the sales and revenue [from the partnership] will be derived from video ads,” Kliavkoff told ClickZ News. Advertising.com will also manage display ads placed alongside video spots and separately on the new site. Advertisers planning to buy on the unnamed network include Cadbury Schweppes, Cisco, Esurance, Intel Corporation, General Motors, and Royal Caribbean.

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