Tribal Fusion Parent Exponential Introduces Free Ad Server

Exponential announced today a free commercial ad server for publishers, claiming the solution offers functions normally reserved for powerful and costly “industrial strength” platforms.

Called Expo9, the product has been in beta testing for several months and is now serving between 20 billion and 25 billion ads per month over Exponential’s Tribal Fusion network, said Alistair Goodman, Exponential’s vice president of strategic marketing. He said the platform is capable of scaling up to about 75 billion ads monthly “without any issues.”

According to Exponential, which is also the parent company for media services companies FullTango, LeadGenuity, EchoTopic and Techbargains, Expo9 gives publishers an easy-to-use interface that ensures they can squeeze as much revenue as possible from all their Web sites. The platform, built on propriety technology, supports third-party relationships, includes powerful targeting functions and allows users to prioritize campaigns on an effective-yield basis.

More than 100 publishers participated in the beta testing of Expo9, said Exponential. It said the platform will be released to more qualified publishers in July.

“It’s an upgrade [to the former Tribal Fusion ad server] and it will be the first time we are making this product, with all its features and functionality, available to publishers to use for free,” said Goodman. He said the new features “enable a publisher to really manage all of the ad campaigns on their sites through a single ad server,” adding, “that’s really the innovation we brought in terms of this new product.”

Using prior Exponential ad servers, publishers could do some of the things possible with Expo9 “but didn’t have nearly the targeting capabilities,” said Goodman. “In particular, they didn’t allow them to manage all their campaigns in one place and prioritize them based on yield. Now they can set-up all their different media partners in a single ad server… They can see consolidated reporting, they can understand — up to the minute — how all their campaigns are performing and how all their providers are doing.”

He said the release of Expo9 is not a reaction to the wave of acquisitions and changes in the ad server industry. “We actually decided to work on this long before the Google/DoubleClick merger,” stressed Goodman. “We’ve been testing it for the past couple of years. It’s not a response to the market. In our view, the real value in working with our publishers is helping them know how to better monetize their sites. This gives us a way of deepening our relationships with them and bringing additional value to their businesses.”

Goodman contended Exponential, and other companies, are “figuring out how to better connect buyers and publishers in the market… Ad serving, per se, is not the value. The value is figuring out how to generate the maximum amount of money for every ad a publisher could run and, on the publisher’s side, helping their advertisers most effectively deliver their campaigns to target audiences.”

Exponential works with 500 ad agencies in the United States and with about 1,000 publishers.

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