ADOTAS – “We want to be a publisher’s monetization partner, not a service,” said Lijit COO Walter Knapp. “Many smaller publishers and bloggers are good at content management and not great at the technical side. We provide the business half of a CMS platform.”
Aiming to be a true supply-side platform, Lijit warms up to mid- and long-tail publishers by providing widgets, including search, analytics and reader tools, many of which are one-click publisher plugins. These can easily be customized with a publisher’s design and Lijit’s search tools also crawl related third-party content across its large network, including Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook.
In exchange, the company collects data and segments audience that allow it to offer both analysis and vertical optimization that can be used to monetize a site’s audience.
In effect, Lijit serves as a fully transparent data co-op. “You install our program and receive all that data back, and you know we use that aggregated data to go find you ways to make money,” CEO Todd Vernon recently told VUE magazine. “The data never leaves the network if the value is not attributed back to the publisher.”
Six months ago, Lijit hopped into the world of display, offering to serve any percentage of a publisher’s impressions — from just remnant to the full load. Currently it boasts 3,000 display partners on the publisher side; over the last three months, daily impressions have improved from 34 million to 52 million.
Lijit’s ad system is hooked into 35 DSPs and trading desks as well as premier ad networks and revenue optimizers. Even ad agencies reach out, as Lijit recently was tasked with finding appropriate last-minute verticals for a Super Bowl campaign.
One-by-one, small publishers can’t get interest from big media buyers or revenue optimizers, Knapp notes, but group them together and it’s another story. Lijit’s network recently hit 15,000 sites and 1 billion monthly page views, a 240% year-over-year increase. It averages 90 million active monthly uniques across its websites, 60 million in the U.S. alone, and 700 million page views per month.
Lijit’s advertising partnerships work quite differently from other display providers. There is no contract to sign and no required exclusivity requirements, no revenue split or guaranteed CPMs — Lijit “flows as much money as possible” pubs’ way depending on performance and readership. The ad platform is self-service so pubs can change the amount of inventory to monetize at any time.
“There are no contracts, no minimums, no exclusivity deals and it’s easy to start and test,” said Knapp. “Publishers simply vote with their feet.”