AdZerk, an ad-selling platform for publishers, sent a notice to its free and self-service customers that it’s shutting down that part of the business to focus on its enterprise clients. The company will complete its exit Aug. 31.
The announcement comes just over a year after OpenX beat a hasty retreat from the self-service ad-serving space, with the abrupt shutdown of its OnRamp offering in February 2013. AdZerk swooped in and said at the time it was seeing self-service customers sign up at three times the normal rate in the immediate aftermath.
AdZerk’s free offering relied on small publishers to tack on premium products and convert into enterprise clients over time. CEO James Avery said the conversion from free to paying customer was disappointing – fewer than 1% of free users were going on to sign enterprise contracts. Avery said he’d hoped to see at least 3% of users convert.