Affinia Starts Product Placement Ad Network

Affinia, which until now has helped
Web sites set up virtual storefronts offering products from major
e-tailers, Monday kicked off its latest effort — an advertising network
that lets e-tailers place products in context on vertical content sites.

“You can think of it as very similar to DoubleClick or Flycast,” said Kris Hagerman, Affinia’s
founder and chief executive officer, “except instead of streaming ad
banners, we stream products.”

The network, for which Affinia is beginning to collect sites, will be made
up of properties that get over 250,000 impressions a month. Site owners
will be paid on a CPM basis, earning at least a $2 CPM, and more if
performance is good.

Advertisers, on the other hand, will pay Affinia on a per-click basis, with
the fee varying from deal to deal. The company has a technology to track
the clicks, and determine which users actually go through to a transaction.
Using that information, Affinia will be able to optimize the product ad

The idea is to present a beyond-the-banner (and complementary to the
banner) opportunity for e-tailers to reach advertisers. The ad is about the
same size as a banner, but is more vertical than horizontal. Because of the
large number of products offered by any given e-tailer, Affinia has more
opportunities to tailor the placement pretty tightly to the content it’s
being presented with.

“Our hope is to create a new breed of ad network that is really optimized
to sell stuff,” said Hagerman. “The more relevant the product placements
are, the more they feel like content.”

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