FM Extends Ad Network to WordPress Bloggers

Just weeks after acquiring blog-tools provider Lijit, Federated Media Publishing has struck a deal to offer ad representation to all hosted Wordpress blogs.

Since launching as a blogging platform in 2003, Wordpress has become one of the most popular open-source content managing systems on the Web, powering nearly 15 percent of the top 1 million sites, according to internal estimates. In total, 24 million blogs are hosted on Wordpress.com, and when you factor in independently hosted sites the number climbs to 62 million. Until now, Wordpress bloggers with fewer than 25,000 page views per month weren’t allowed to include advertising – whether from networks or direct sales – on their sites.

The FM deal will potentially allow all bloggers hosted on WordPress.com, regardless of audience size, to opt in to its advertising network. “Anyone creating high quality, brand-safe content will be considered for the program,” said an FM spokesman via e-mail. “The focus initially is on the long tail, so we are more focused on quality of blog, not number of users or page views.”

Bloggers who opt in to the network will be given a choice of “theme,” but not control over individual ads. Rates have yet to be determined.

The combination of FM, Lijit and Wordpress will result in an audience of 247 million unique visitors in the U.S., according to Quantcast. The deal was announced at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday.

“FM is the perfect partner for us to offer opt-in, premium advertising to WordPress users for the first time ever,” said Toni Schneider, CEO of Automattic, the parent company of Wordpress, in a release. “FM has years of experience in bringing together leading brands and top bloggers and will now bring that experience to our network of tens of millions of bloggers and hundreds of millions of readers.”

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