Outbrain, the Israel-based content recommendation platform that powers the "Recommended by" articles seen on sites such as CNN and ESPN, has acquired Los Angeles-based software firm Revee and it is now launching a product that it claims will let publishers know exactly how much individual articles are generating in revenue, in real-time.
The Outbrain Automatic Yield product integrates Revee's technology, which hooks up with publishers' ad servers to provide a dashboard view of which articles are earning the most money.
Speaking to Business Insider, Outbrain's vice president of product marketing Matt Crenshaw said the new product is compatible with all the major ad servers publishers use, which includes Google's DoubleClick for Publishers.
Crenshaw explained digital publishers are struggling to bring audiences to their sites. Traffic from Facebook was down 32% from January to February last year and Google search is getting more competitive, he said. Outbrain is hoping publishers will see this product as a way to bring in audiences — through placing ads for their highest-performing content on other sites — in a more predictable and scaleable way.
The revenue value of individual articles can fluctate as much as 262% in a single day
Outbrain says the value of individual articles or videos can fluctuate wildly — as much as 262% in a single day — which can make it difficult for publishers to determine which content to promote in order to bring in the most traffic.
Most publishers know which articles are the best-performing in terms of page views, but it's less clear which are bringing in the most ad revenue — advertisers are prepared to pay more to target their ads to higher-value users (such as those that might be in the market to buy their products, or people with high incomes.) Often the article with the most page views isn't actually the article driving the most revenue, as this screenshot from the dashboard shows.
Yaron Galai, Outbrain CEO, told Business Insider the problem is analogous to an event booker trying to get a great music act to appear at their party. The analytics show that, on average, both Beyoncé and Galai have sold more than 100 million records — but in reality, there's only one musician you really want to be booking for your event.
Outbrain is adding Automatic Yield at no additional cost to customers. Galai compares it to the Google Analytics model: The more Outbrain can prove to customers that its products work, the more customers are likely to spend with Outbrain.
Time Inc. is the first customer to implement the Outbrain Automatic Yield platform, across Fortune and Entertainment Weekly in the US. Outbrain says the product will roll out widely in the US and in the UK, France, Israel, and other major territories in the coming weeks.
Revee was co-founded in 2013 by former Penske Media execs Nic Paul and Cham Kim. The company has around 10 employees and has raised $1 million in seed funding. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Earlier this week, Outbrain rival Taboola launched a similar product, called Taboola Backstage.
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