BET Digital Launches Black-Focused Ad Network

Companies aiming to reach African Americans on the Web will be able to advertise on more than 30 black-oriented sites through a new vertical ad network set up by Viacom’s BET Digital Media Group.

The ad network, a first for the group formerly known as BET Interactive, will be focused on music, entertainment and lifestyle sites “relevant to the urban and African American communities,” said BET Digital Media in announcing the service.

The company cited Jupiter Research data that shows about 22.7 million African Americans regularly go online, making them second to Hispanics in Web use.

In addition to allowing advertisers to “easily target African American consumers across relevant and professional Web sites,” the new network will help match publishers seeking ad revenue with “top-quality advertisers” with an eye on the black audience, said BET Digital in a statement.

BET Digital Media oversees BET.com, BET Mobile, BET on Blast (an African-American focused broadband platform) and BET on Demand, a video-on-demand platform offered via Comcast, Cox, Charter, Time Warner and Verizon networks.

BET Digital did not list the sites to be included in the ad network.

In a statement announcing the ad network, BET Digital’s new president, Denmark West, said publishers that join the network “will gain access to high quality branded advertising, with the network allowing them to target campaigns most relevant to their audience.” He also said the network is a monetization solution for Web sites that have “a large scale of premium inventory but don’t necessarily have a sales force to match.”

West came to BET this summer from MTV Networks, where he was executive vice president and chief of operations for MTV Global Digital Media.

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