AdBurner – Solving A Problem That Exists

Yesterday, NewsGator announced the release of their AdBurner Online Advertising Program.  AdBurner is a partnership between NewsGator, Technorati, AdMeld, Gigya, Medialets, and Tremor Media.

If you’ve been following NewsGator’s progress, you know that they have two major parts to their business – their (1) enterprise products and (2) media products.  They had an excellent year in 2008 with significant growth on both sides of their business along with an especially strong Q4.

With over 100 active customers on the media side of their business, NewsGator kept hearing the following things:

  1. Can you be a single point of contact for our display media purchases for our digital properties?
  2. Can you deal with all of our remnant ad inventory – 50% of our traffic is remnant and we know we aren’t getting paid anything for it?
  3. Can you help us sell ads in all the widgets you are delivering for us?
  4. Can you put advertising in the iPhone app you are building for us?
  5. Can you help us with pre-roll video in the video widgets you are delivering for us?

Last fall a group of us started talking about how to accommodate our customers’ requests for these things.  There’s a longer list of “can you …” but we decided to focus on these five issues as they came up regularly in our discussions with our customers.  I suggested strongly that we should partner with other companies to deliver these services to our customers.  The consistent message from our customers is “we love working with you guys – will you just take care of all of this stuff for us?”

AdBurner is the result.  NewsGator has partnered with and integrated Technorati (#1), AdMeld (#2), Gigya (#3), Medialets (#4), and Tremor Media (#5) into a single offering.  While Technorati and AdMeld are investments of ours, Gigya, Medialets, and Tremor are not so NewsGator chose from a portfolio of potential partners that were like minded, interested in using NewsGator as an indirect channel (to NewsGator’s existing customers), and recognized the value to the customer of delivering a portfolio of services through one company (in this case, NewsGator).

As I mentioned above, there are a lot more “can you questions” that our customers are asking us (#6 through #17) and now that NewsGator has released the initial version of AdBurner, they are starting to explore the next wave of partners for their media products.  All of this is being customer driven and is in response to real customer needs, which I find to be particularly powerful.