For Avery, the move away from self service is geared toward shifting focus towards where it feels it can be most competitive, and that isn’t with small publishers. “Google has cornered the (self-service market) with AdSense,” Avery said. “The efficacy of AdSense for small publishers really can’t be matched by anyone right now. Which is why you don’t see PubMatic, or Rubicon or (anyone similar) going downmarket. They can’t do what Google has managed to do with AdSense.”
AdZerk also recently abandoned Network Tools, which had been geared towards ad networks. Both moves were billed by the company as allowing it to focus on “ad serving as an API” for publishers.
The move away from self-service and network customers has been a year in the making, Avery said, citing shifting revenue shares. In May 2013, self-serve (10%) and network (50%) customers contributed a higher share to AdZerk’s bottom line than in May 2014, when self-serve (5%) and network (7%) revenues accounted for much less, according to Avery. This while the company claimed 60% overall revenue growth year over year, driven by growth of its revenue from publisher and API customers.
AdZerk has 10 employees at its Durham, N.C., headquarters and Avery said he plans to hire three more in the coming months.
In a related development earlier this year, Google told some DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) customers that they will no longer have access to phone support or dedicated account reps, effectively making them "self-serve."