Lijit Taps Turn for Midtail Publisher RTB Platform

Inplace #2

ADOTAS – Lijit, ad tech friend to small and midsized publishers, has teamed up with Turn to launch its own real-time bidding platform that connects to just about every demand source you can finger: ad agencies, trading desks, DSPs, ad exchanges, ad optimizers and ad networks, oh my. The little guys will finally have access to the transparency, efficiency, speed and simplicity their bigger publisher cousins have been enjoying for a while.

“With the release of our RTB platform we’re continuing our mission to be the business partner of choice for online publishers,” said Todd Vernon, CEO and founder of Lijit. “Publishers now have increased control over how their inventory is bought and sold – they can manage CPM floor prices, implement custom targeting categories, and even refine which advertiser segments they’re willing to accept onto their sites. Having Turn as a launch partner ensures we’re bringing the industry’s best brands and biggest media buyers directly to our publishers.”

It’s a timely announcement as longtime Lijit partner Admeld signed an agreement to be acquired by Google on Monday. You could call that move an answer to Lijit’s launch of its enhanced publisher analytics in May, which the company sold as a shot across the bow to Google’s reign over small and midsize pubs, but I think Google had grander plans in mind (Dominating the display space? Yessir!)

At this point in the “war,” Lijit is still akin to a small band of rowdy rebels (which is better than angst-ridden students handing out flyers and making speeches). Its publisher network consists of 21,000 midtail sites that reach 100 million uniques monthly. The company likes tagging this audience as “engaged” since publishers on the network tend to be affinity sites highly interactive users.

Since 2010’s launch of Lijit’s unconventional ad system, which allows publishers to choose what percentage of inventory they want to monetize as well as walk away from Lijit’s services at any time, ad revenue has spiralled up at a clip (a 74% hike during first quarter 2011 alone) while the publisher base keeps growing.

“We’ve been working with the team at Lijit for nearly a year and during that time have watched them dramatically grow their publisher network,” said Bill Demas, CEO and president of Turn. “Turn provides our clients with access to the largest RTB inventory footprint in the industry. Adding Lijit’s network of high quality, brand-safe mid and long-tail sites to our client’s RTB portfolio is a big win for everyone.”

Turn has been busy! Just last week the company introduced a demand-side data management platform.