VUNet USA will hand over ad serving duties on all of its sites to 24/7 Real Media
, in a deal that represents a major win for the struggling Web ad server.
Previously, 24/7 Real Media served only Los Angeles-based VUNet’s MP3.com. Now, through terms of the new arrangement, the installation of the company’s Open AdStream software at MP3.com will serve ads to other VUNet USA sites including MP4.com, RollingStone,com, EMusic.com and The Flipside Network, which itself consists of iWin.com, Uproar and Virtual Vegas.
The move shifts VUNet’s online ad delivery and administration for most of the sites from DoubleClick
DART, while also adding capabilities such as “Surround” and daypart-based advertising units, which have come into vogue among some Web publishers, such as New York Times Digital (also a 24/7 Real Media client).
“We’re extremely pleased to be working with [MP3.com] to extend a premium solution for the other VUNet USA sites,” said Tom Capato, 24/7’s senior vice president of technology sales. “As an increasing number of major publishers switch from other technologies, it’s especially gratifying to have one of our major, long-term publisher customers expand its relationship with us.”
The deal is good news for 24/7 Real Media, which takes over ad serving for a number of popular sites, and which is aiming to break even by the end of the year. Mp3.com, eMusic and Rolling Stone, which together receive about 5 million visitors monthly, while Flipside’s sites receive an additional 7 million each month.
Last week, the company announced that it would assume ad serving duties for the local sites owned by Disney’s
ABC television unit. In May, the company sold its e-mail list services unit to Naviant, to focus on its more lucrative Web ad serving and media representation practices.
For VUNet, the agreement with 24/7 Real Media continues its experiments to better monetize traffic to its sites. The deal comes on the heels of VUNet’s deal with Amazing Media last month to roll out do-it-yourself rich media skyscrapers across its music-related sites.
The Amazing Media offering is designed to let up-and-coming bands (like those featured on MP3.com) purchase, design and deploy their own animated and sound-enhanced ads. The upshot for VUNet is that since the system is self-service for clients, it frees up salespeople to concentrate on bigger-ticket advertisers.