Media Marketplaces Go International
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As the investment action in online media marketplaces in the US reaches new heights, it's no surprise that players are eager to export the idea of buying and selling advertising over the Internet.
The first international player to pop up is Advertium.com, a site targeting Latin America that has partnered with AdOutlet.com and drawn an investment led by Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst and joined by SLI International Venture fund.
Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst holds stakes in several Latin American Internet companies -- MercadoLibre.com, ElSitio, Comunica.com, Amtec.net, Certant, Palmsite.net -- as well as major media interests including Argentina's Cablevision, Venezuela's Intercable, Brazil's TV Cidade, Chile's Iberoamerican Radio Company, Mexico's MVS Multivision and South America's International Outdoor Advertising.
SLI International Venture fund has investments in several Latin America-oriented Web companies -- ElSitio, Deremate.com, Salutia.com and Viajo.com. The size of these firms' investment in Advertium.com was not disclosed.
The idea is basically to clone the AdOutlet.com model and take advantage of the Latin American market. As in the US, the advertising industry suffers from inefficiencies, especially as ad avails increase with the growth of the Internet.
"If there's one vertical industry that can benefit greatly from the Internet, it's this one," said Patricio Campiani, chief executive officer of Advertium.com.
Advertium will let sellers of television, radio, print, outdoor, Internet and alternative media outlets in Latin America post their inventory on-line at no cost. The company will make its money by taking a cut of every transaction that takes place on the service.
Advertium.com also plans to build an advertising industry portal around this service, providing news, research, and creative for ad professionals.
While Advertium.com may be the first media marketplace to take US technology and experience abroad, it won't be the last. A Norwegian firm was in the United States last week, meeting with players in the space about possible partnerships in Scandinavia.