In the latest example of how start-up businesses are using technology to
make the buying of advertising easier and more democratic, digitalroot this week launched a
service that aggregates the banner ad purchases of smaller businesses.
The idea, which is similar to consumer plays like MobShop and Mercata, is
that smaller businesses can’t get as good a deal on buying online
advertising, simply because they aren’t buying in volume. Digitalroot aims
to bring together the buys of smaller businesses, giving them better prices
and boosting them over the minimum buy requirements of top-tier Web
“Everyone benefits when you increase market participation,” said Robert
Kunis, director of business development at digitalroot.
So far, digitalroot has gotten commitments from Fool.com,
CBSMarketWatch.com, RollingStone.com, and FOXSports.com, to sell their
inventory online. The value proposition for Web properties is that it
enables them to better monetize unsold inventory. Media Metrix’ AdRelevance division this week
released a study that said house ads — often the result of unsold
inventory — account for nearly 20 percent of online advertising.
Digitalroot will make buying opportunities available through a Web
interface, through its own site, through publisher sites, and through
third-party distribution partners.
The company is currently finishing up its beta launch, with a full launch
planned in around two weeks.