Six Apart Offers VideoEgg’s Twig Unit to Bloggers

Two months after unveiling Twig, the scrolling ad unit that remains on the page regardless of where the user navigates, VideoEgg has forged a deal with Six Apart Media that will allow the blogger services company to offer the unit to publishers on its network.

Bloggers that opt to place the Twig unit on their page will have ads served by VideoEgg, whether or not they were already party of that network. VideoEgg and Six Apart will share revenue on the deal, though they declined to share details.

“This whole thing is an evolution of the Twig launch,” Brian Birtwistle, VP of the audience network at VideoEgg, said. “Six Apart liked what they saw with Twig and thought it was a great idea for blogs, so they have jumped on board and are working with us to roll it out to their blogs.”

The Twig unit was designed for sites with vertically stacked content, like blogs, where static ads are less effective because they disappear as the user scrolls through the site. Twig stays collapsed at the top or bottom of the screen until the user clicks it, at which point it expands into VideoEgg’s full-screen AdForms unit, which contains multiple video capabilities.

Like all VideoEgg ad units, Twig is sold on a cost-per-engagement basis, meaning advertisers only pay when a user clicks on the bar to see the ad itself.

Because the deal allows VideoEgg to sell Twig placements on these new blog pages, it effectively expands its ad network. Some of the new blogs adopting Twig through Six Apart are Orbitcast, Geeks Are Sexy and Blog Net News.

“Our goal is to help our publishers make money on the content they work hard to create,” David Tokheim, EVP of Six Apart, said in a written statement.

VideoEgg claims that in the two months since it has rolled out Twig, blogs that have used the unit to replace traditional banner ads have experienced a 100 percent increase in clicks and engagement. Asked whether some of that increase wasn’t due to a simple curiosity factor that would quickly dissipate — users clicking the banner at the bottom of the page just to see what it was — Birtwhistle said the data his company had collected refuted that.

“If the Twig were producing accidental engagements, we’d be seeing two to three seconds of time spent,” he said. “We’re seeing much more than that.”

More dynamic ad units have become something of a trend as publishers and ad networks seek to grab a larger slice of dwindling budgets. The Online Publishers Association and Premium Access Media both unveiled units earlier this year that stay on the screen as users scrolls down the page.

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