Online media platform and ad network Say Media has acquired digital agency Sideshow to help drive the development of properties owned and operated by the company.
Say recently acquired pet-focused social communities Dogster and Catster, and launched xoJane.com, a women’s interest site headed up by former Sassy and Jane magazine editor-in-chief, Jane Pratt. Now the company has “a bunch more” properties in the pipeline, which Sideshow will help create after being worked into its existing Media Lab unit, Michael Sippey, VP of artist development at San Francisco-based Say, told ClickZ News.
According to Sippey, Sideshow has already worked alongside the company to create the xoJane site and content for some of its brand partners, so the agency was a known quantity. “This is about adding more capabilities to build our own properties as well as working with properties we acquire down the line,” he said.
Those properties are monetized predominantly through advertiser partnerships, which Sideshow will also have a hand in creating and implementing, having done so in partnership with Say previously. “We can do some really interesting and compelling things for brands. Custom content programs that give brands a range of ways to connect with consumers,” Sippey said.
To date, Say’s business has been based on partnering with content creators, blogs and websites, and aggregating their inventory to sell to advertisers in what equates to an ad network model. By creating its own properties, however, the firm can likely create more customized solutions for its advertisers, and extract more revenue from them as a result.
That’s not to suggest the company’s existing network will be any less represented, however. It currently boasts over 2,000 publisher partners, reaching over 400 million monthly uniques, Sippey said. It offers a range of ad products sold predominantly on an engagement basis across desktop Web and mobile platforms, and counts major brands including Unilever, P&G, Starbucks, Chrysler, and Microsoft among its client roster. </p
Programmatic is taking over the digital advertising world, and at an even faster rate than expected, according to eMarketer, which raised its forecast for programmatic ad spending in the U.S. on the back of growth in mobile and video programmatic buys.
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