It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but Revenue Science’s new name — AudienceScience — may do a better job describing the company’s value proposition to brand marketers than its old one did.
For many years the behavioral targeting firm’s main offering was its on-site audience segmentation product, which it licensed to individual publishers. The “Revenue” in its name was intended to appeal to site owners eager to create more premium inventory and charge higher CPMs, according to CEO Jeff Hirsch.
In 2005 the firm launched a network, called Audience Search, to achieve greater scale within audience segments and overcome the inadequacies of reach that have historically plagued behavioral targeting vendors. Indeed, rival Tacoda eventually gave up on single-site behavioral targeting, long before its acquisition by AOL.
AudienceScience still vouches for on-site behavioral targeting however. Hirsch said the company derives about half its revenue from providing its technology separately to large publishers.
“If a publisher has maximized the value of selling their contextual placements, then there is a significant business opportunity” to raise the value of remnant inventory, he said.
But the real money is in creating a network effect where large brands and their agencies can achieve reach by cherry picking audience behaviors and inventory pooled from many sites.
The company’s ad network now has the unwieldy name AudienceScience Targeting Marketplace. In addition to offering several forms of behavioral targeting — re-targeting, creative re-targeting, and search re-targeting among them — it also provides non-behavioral factors such as daypart, geographic, and contextual targeting.
“Most of the clients we work with when we’re selling directly to advertisers are brand advertisers,” said Hirsch. He added these buyers typically already have a very good idea of who their target audience is.
Hirsch said AudienceScience has felt the pinch of the recession but continues to perform well sequentially, experiencing 40 percent growth in ad spending from Q3 to Q4.
“Mostly what we’re seeing is people not wanting to make long-term commitments,” he said of
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