Jason Krebs is President of ShortTail Media.
AdExchanger.com: What must ad networks do, if anything, to make sure that publishers do not feel like they're inventory is being cannibalized?
JK: The reality is they are being cannibalized by most networks. The networks make the publishers feel like they are not being cannibalized by sending them nice checks every month.
How's business? Can you give us a sense of revenue momentum at ShortTail Media and where you're seeing strengths and weaknesses?
Business is "okay." We're making progress but it's never as fast as you'd like it to be. Visibility is about 6 weeks out. We're seeing strength in consumer products, food/beverage, entertainment and travel. We're very excited about a new video ad platform we are launching this summer called the Digital 30. Stay tuned for more on that.
How does ShortTail differentiate itself from other ad networks?
We are actually partners with our publishers, not arbitragers. We do not buy media, but instead, we work with our publishers to secure access to great placements and with our advertisers to provide broad reach and/or targeted audiences in the clean, well-lit environment of the nation's top websites. Unlike other networks that promise you'll get "sites like these," at ShortTail, advertisers receive complete transparency -- they only get the sites they request. To our publishers, we deliver good ads, at good rates, from good clients who they wouldn't normally be calling.
How does ShortTail Media ensure brand safety?
We only represent 50 or so professional media brands. They are all in the "clean, well-lit space."
In ShortTail's day-to-day operations, what trends are you seeing in the current online advertising marketplace such as CPM direction, use of targeting technology, etc.?
The marketplace is stratifying in the high and low ends, with the former requiring customization and the latter being largely click-performance driven. The targeting questions basically have not changed in the past 10 years. Of course if I'm an advertiser with a very specific product, with a definitive, exclusive audience, then a fine target makes sense. However if an advertiser has a new line of snacks, or a new flavored beverage, or a better detergent to clean my laundry, we don't believe that level of targeting makes sense.
Can ad exchanges become a viable option for premium inventory? Under what circumstances would ShortTail use an ad exchange?
Will there be more or fewer ad networks in the future?
How must ad agencies adjust as digital advertising evolves?
We don't think agencies should be so obsessed with marketing solely to pre-conceived groups for most products. You still have to convince consumers that they need a product and then tell them how good the product is. Years ago we were told in brilliant marketing that Volvo was the safest car on the road. Volvo would never have been a success if they waited for people to type "safe car" into a search engine. I've got dozens more suggestions, how much time do you have?
Do you feel the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) adequately represents the needs of ad networks?
I'm not sure they need to. What the IAB should do is to make sure that consumers understand that access to all of the greatest news/information/entertainment in the world can be kept free of charge if they just take the time to look at a few ads. I am confident on Randall's leadership to drive the industry forward. (I feel the same confidence about Pam Horan of the OPA as well)
No pun intended, but does ShortTail consider the Long Tail a "scary" place to advertise?
Be afraid, be very afraid.
How do you see ShortTail Media growing in the next 12-24 months?
We'll be showing Fortune 500 advertisers that these beautifully designed websites, that ensure a safe environment for their message, while being delivered to the most desirable of reader, are the perfect place for their video commercials and their elegant banner creative. This is not your father's Internet.
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