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Over the first two weeks of this new year, I’ve noticed more malicious advertising than last year. Online advertising network optimizer Rubicon Project has announced the launch of a new security service named Rubicon Security that aims to reduce the number of malicious ads across the Web.
Rubicon receives data from ClickFacts regarding malicious ads and then processes the information against ads being served through their network to help lessen the possibilty that a malicious ad will ever be seen by a consumer.
From the announcement, “ClickFacts Ad Network and Publisher Management Suite enables Rubicon Security to automatically scan all ad tags, advertising creatives and publisher pages for content and malware before delivering advertisements, allowing publishers to manage the high volume of ad tags on any given page while dramatically reducing the potential of malicious attacks. Additionally, Rubicon Security continues to monitor the ad tags once they are served to ensure malware doesn’t attack the campaign.”
When malicious ads are served, they can damage not only a user’s computer but also the reputation of the website or brand. Also, by removing the malicious ads, Rubicon can serve legit ads which are more likely to be better paying as well.
The Rubicon Security service only works for publishers within the Rubicon network. Also of note, Rubicon is now describing their company as, “the Internet advertising infrastructure company.”
Here are today’s startup and entrepreneurial Updates… enjoy!
- Ruba offers a new visual travel guide – Ruba
- The Web2NewYork meetup is relaunching next Tuesday – signup today – Web2NewYork
- 10 Job Search Attitudes that Will Get You More Interviews – SlideShare
- Online ad optimization firm Rubicon has acquired Others Online – Rubicon
- uTest found over 600 bugs in Bing, Yahoo and Google – uTest
- Control the visibility of your social networks – DandyID
- Wirenode launches premium mobile publishing platform – Wirenode
- A Drupal alternative to Squarespace and Ning – Acquia
Online ad optimization firm Rubicon Project has announced a new $13 million venture raise today made up of an additional $5 million in venture funding from Clearstone Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund and IDG Ventures Asia and Silicon Valley Bank added $8 million in venture debt. The company notes that the funds will be used to, "fuel business growth initiatives including strategic acquisitions, research and development, infrastructure and international expansion."
The company has raised $33 million to-date and is based in Los Angeles. The company opened a NYC office last November. Check out our interview with founder and CEO Frank Addante.
I wonder if any of the money will be focused on increasing publisher revenue for small-to-medium websites. To-date I haven’t heard from any publishers in that category who have seen good results from using Rubicon. The service seems to work well for large publishers, but optimizing those are relatively easy. Especially to get them from where they were to a new level – it’s seeing continued growth that’s more difficult.
One of the things I like that Rubicon does is provide their Ad Market report each quarter. While the data only comes from publishers using their system, it’s a great way to keep their name top-of-mind as some amount of bloggers will post findings from the report each quarter.
Online advertising technology provider Rubicon has released their latest 2008 Online Advertising Market Report for the fourth quarter. Similar to the PubMatic AdPrice Index, Rubicon’s report takes a look at the online advertising industry through analyzing the stats and impressions served on the Rubicon system. Rubicon notes that the report came from analyzing 45 billion impressions across their publisher network. The report focuses heavily on news (around the election) and entertainment. There’s also a discussion of the 2009 ad market as well.
Remember that the report comes from only ads Rubicon has served and while not noted in the report, I assume a large percentage of the 45 billion are served via their large publishing properties.
The key takeaways from the report are:
- $134 million was invested in ad network]related deals in Q4
- Traffic to all sites in the Rubicon ProjectNews & Reference channel jumped 50-75% percent on and after Election day
- CPMs tumbled by more than 40 percent in the Dating channel, and by almost 18 percent in the Sports channel. In contrast, they were up 50 percent in the Young Adult channel, up 42 percent in the TV & Film channel, and up 31 percent in Technology.
- Overall publisher revenue across the Rubicon Project is on pace to outperform Q4 ‘08 by 30% in Q1 ‘09.
Online advertising network optimizer Rubicon Project has announced the opening of their NYC office today. Josh Wexler, Director of Strategic Publisher Acquisition will run the NYC office. Rubicon has offices in NYC, San Francisco and their headquarters in Los Angeles.
Rubicon has raised $22 million to-date. So far the feedback I’ve heard has been mostly mixed with a bit of weighting to the negative side. They have been able to sell into the profitable large sites which will probably drive more revenue than the smaller "long-tail" would anyway.
The office is located at 106 Seventh Avenue in Chelsea. That was my old stomping ground during my days at CKS. Rubicon is hiring for several positions in the NYC office.
Check out my interview with Rubicon CEO Frank Addante from Internet Week.
Online advertising technology provider Rubicon has released their latest 2008 Online Advertising Market Report for the second quarter. Similar to the PubMatic AdPrice Index, Rubicon’s report takes a look at the online advertising industry through analyzing the stats and impressions served on the Rubicon system. Rubicon notes that the report came from analyzing 15 billion impressions across their publisher network.
The key takeaways from the report are:
- Ad Networks Grew During the Economic Storm in Q2 – the report notes that (outside of Google AdSense) eCPMs were up 7% in Q2. I’d rather see a breakdown of large sites vs. small and medium. Large sites are more likely to see a jump just based on volume alone.
- Publishers & Networks: A Dysfunctional Relationship – a discussion of how the relationship works between publishers and ad networks. They discuss the issue of a quickly expanding traffic event (i.e. a Digg/Slashdot/etc.) and the inability for ad networks to meet the expanded traffic rapidly. Also this section discusses remnant inventory
- Big Publishers are Transforming the Ad Network Space – the report notes, "While smaller publishers can entice advertisers with the prospect of reaching the ideal audience for their brand, even the most precisely targeted niche publisher, on their own, is no match for the combination of scale and segmentation that larger publishers provide."
- International Traffic: A Growing Opportunity – discusses AOL’s consolidation in Europe into Platform-A and Glam Media’s expansion
Earlier today I had the chance to sit down with Rubicon Project co-founder and CEO Frank Addante. Frank is here with his team during Internet Week and will be part of the Mashable Expo on Friday evening. Frank is a serial entrepreneur, having started 5 companies. Two of the companies were acquired and one went the IPO route. Rubicon is very well funded, probably because of Frank’s past successes.
I am very into the online advertising and analytics space so I was very much looking forward to the conversation with Frank. The conversation didn’t disappoint. Sadly the online advertising market as a whole is still stuck in the late 90′s. I rarely see any innovation – and please don’t tell me that Facebook ads show innovation.
Frank explained that Rubicon is focused on "advertising technology innovation." The idea is simple — for publishers, the system offers you a way to make more money with less effort. Instead of managing multiple ad networks and trying to decide which order to route them in, when to show what, and having to deal with all of the paperwork, Rubicon takes care of all of that. The system can give you back many hours of frustration a week to instead use to grow your business. During their beta period they signed up 625 publishers and now have passed 1,000 publishers. He didn’t share actual active publisher numbers. Some of their largest clients include Slide, JibJab and eHarmony.
The Rubicon system is processing 250 million ads/day with 150 million unique users/month passing through their engine.
We discussed their "default killer" technology which is similar to PubMatic’s default optimization service. Frank says they have submitted patents on this techology. The idea is that the system knows when a "default" ad is displayed and can re-route accordingly. If it works, the idea is great as it would remove the need for "chaining" of ad networks.
Rubicon charges publishers 10% of any income generated from the ad networks served through Rubicon. In speaking with a few people today who have used the system, overall the feeling was that the system hasn’t increased their revenue enough to make them want to continue. And Clicky CEO Sean Hammons reported that the system was just a fairy tale back in February.
The truth is that if they are able to sign the largest publishers/applications to use their service, then frankly it won’t matter if small publishers see no value in using Rubicon. Frank wants his service to be beneficial for publishers of all sizes and he noted that Rubicon focuses on the publisher first. This is something we normally don’t see – most focus on the advertiser’s needs and could care less about the publisher.
The Rubicon Project team is located in Los Angeles and made up of about 50 people, up from 10 when they launched the beta in October 2007. We may test the Rubicon Project this summer and will report back on our findings. If you plan to test any of these new publisher ad maximization services, I’d suggest giving it at least three months before drawing any conclusions. So many factors affect ad revenue and using at least a quarter’s worth of data will provide some level of comfort in whether the selected system will work over the long-term. And to be honest, I’d test all of the services before selecting one and then pick the best one for your particular site or app.
I am glad we are seeing some innovation in the ad management area, now we need to innovate in the actual ad area. I still believe widget advertising will be huge once brands realize that for them, it doesn’t matter where consumers interact with their brands, as long as they do.