Hard to remember, but last year, before the vogue for ad networks swept every publisher in the country, the previous vogue was for ad exchanges, following a flurry of deals by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Today Glam Media (SA 25 #20) reminds us of the purported benefits of ad exchanges by announcing that it’s launching its own version, which will be used exclusively for the company’s network of 500+ websites and blogs.
Glam CEO Samir Arora’s pitch: While the exchange is designed to let Glam’s sites backfill their “below the fold” and remnant inventory, it won’t be a dumping ground for low-CPM, hit-the-monkey-win-an-iPod banners.
Instead, he says, Glam will set a minimum price for advertisers who want to participate — which he hasn’t disclosed, but given his dismissive attitude toward social networks and their sub-$1 CPMS, we assume it will be higher than that — and that Glam will vet the ads as well. Basically, it’s a qualified exchange. The program, dubbed GlamX, is in beta now and will do a full rollout in Q4.
Glam, which raised $85 million at a $500 million valuation in February, reports a reach of 42 million uniques in the U.S. and 77 million worldwide. The women-oriented network has recently been adding new verticals: “Style”, “Living”, etc and is now expanding internationally; down the line, it’s considering broadening its reach by targeting teens, men. etc.