Does NetShelter Brand Network Have What Network Advertisers Want?

Tech ad network firm NetShelter has just launched what it’s calling its NetShelter Branded Network (NSBN). The company is the exclusive seller of all ad inventory on the network’s 16 sites which reach a total of 1.9 million users. Twelve of the sites have been made public, including Geek.com and MobileBurn.com. According to NetShelter’s co-CEO Peyman Nilforoush, advertisers can purchase banners, roadblocks, sponsorships and other placements, as well as choose to run ads on specific pages or alongside specific content. In about a month, NetShelter will make available pre-roll video spots in video content on some of the sites such as product reviews.

Advertisers on the network include Microsoft, Palm and Motorola. When I spoke with Nilforoush, he stressed “brand protection” as the primary value of the new network, which offers auditing of all content within the network through I/PRO.

“This is sort of more of an industry approach that we’re taking,” said Nilforoush. “This is more of an evolution of ad networks.”

The main difference between the new branded network and the firm’s content network is that advertisers can pick and choose which sites and which content they want to run ads in.

Here’s the thing: Most networks have hundreds if not thousands of sites in them. While this certainly helps alleviate the common concern that advertisers have when it comes to what content their brands are seen with, it seems as though this could be seen as more of a sales representative relationship than a network. Sure, they get that “brand protection” they want, but what advertisers typically want out of a network is reach — lots of eyeballs. Although NetShelter says its brand network sites get more unique visitors than CNET News.com or Ziff Davis Internet, if advertisers are picking and choosing sites or content, that reach factor won’t necessarily be there. It’s more a means of reaching a highly-targeted tech audience.

Yes, there is value there for an advertiser, but whether or not it’s the same type of value they’re looking for from a network buy remains to be seen.

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