How to monetize online niches, local sites and blogs

August 8, 2010 by, online ad self-service platformPoland’s Agora partners with two European entrepreneurs to take the middle man out of buying advertising, selling simple ads directly through web sites. Is the future of online advertising?

In August issue of the INMA Ideas magazine Marcin Grodzicki, AdTaily’s business developer based in London, UK, tells an intriguing story behind one of the top 25 European creative companies.

Back in 2008, two young European entrepreneurs had had enough of the way the advertising market worked. Instead of sophisticated targeting technologies and old-school, work-intensive manual placements, they came up with a super simple model of buying ads directly on web sites — through a widget that served both as the point of sale and an ad server. To simplify the buying process the ads were only display, only in one size, and only sold on a per-day basis.

The early concept was recognized at the Seedcamp Week, an Internet startup competition in London, and a couple of months later it was backed by Agora, Poland’s media group best known for its Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper and an online portal

Agora was looking for an easy-to-use advertising solution for its over 90 Internet vertical sites including 20+ local portals and a blogging platform hosting over 184,000 individual blogs.

AdTaily matched Agora’s needs as:

  • Blogs have well targeted communities of readers, but often struggle to make money. The reason is that most of them don’t attract visitors in big numbers. AdTaily argues it’s not the number of readers that really counts, but quality of the readers – this is very attractive to advertisers, but not well supported by other monetization solutions.
  • Medium sized vertical sites: in such a case the inventory is usually substantial, but still no direct sales team is present. By installing multiple widgets in different sections AdTaily could optimally monetize the content.
  • Niche and local sections of big portals or sites: AdTaily offered help to monetize new projects that were not yet attractive to large advertisers and big online advertising networks.

How does AdTaily work? Have a look at this video:

In summer 2009, AdTaily launched the beta version of the service, which immediately generated a wave of enthusiasm. The growth of the platform was faster than anyone expected — including the local traditional advertising networks. AdTaily was one of the top 10 advertising networks in Poland in 2009, within a market that had been pretty much stable for the past couple years.

At the beginning of 2010, AdTaily released a new version of its product, catering to a global audience. New features were introduced: advertisers could design their banners without leaving the publisher’s web site and publishers could easily inject the ads in their social streams on Facebook or Twitter, for example. The company also opened an office in London, to be closer to the largest European advertising market.

Marcin Grodzicki writes in the INMA Ideas magazine:

“It is still too early to judge the impact AdTaily will have on more mature and sophisticated advertising markets like United Kingdom or United States. But as the concept has already proven, less can really be more. And it seems like 15,000 publishers generating around one billion monthly impressions are eager to agree, as CNBC Business magazine just named AdTaily one of the top 25 European creative companies.”

Here’s a short video interview with Mr. Grodzicki shot at the Minibar London, a monthly meeting of the online community there:

Marcin Grodzicki at MiniBar from MiniBar on Vimeo.

Do you want to learn more? Jakub Krzych, co-founder of AdTaily, will present an update of its case at the INMA/OPA Europe Newsmedia Conference in Kraków (September 29-October 1, 2010).


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