Travel Ad Network CEO Brian Silver On Acquiring Publisher TravelMuse

Travel Ad NetworkVertical ad network Travel Ad Network (TAN) announced today that it has acquired travel planning website, TravelMuse, and labeled the acquisition the continued “transformation of TAN from a vertical ad network into an integrated digital media company.” Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Read the release.

Travel Ad Network CEO Brian Silver discussed the acquisition and its implications. Thinking back in Travel Ad Network’s history, when did it become apparent that buying a publisher would make sense and what are the key drivers for TAN?

BS: We have always believed that owning and operating sites is an important part of accomplishing our mission. Our mission remains to build, organize and serve the largest targeted online travel audience in the world. We do this by tracking, quantifying & exploiting travel intent throughout the consumer travel lifecycle. Travel is an incredibly fragmented vertical and sometimes you need to align with certain reputable brands to help raise consumer value.

What are your plans for the vertical ad network business going forward?

Our core business remains strong and will always be a huge part of our value to the advertising marketplace and the publisher partners we represent. Our exclusive representation model affords us the ability to tie all of our audiences together and help influence the consumer on where to travel, when to travel, and what to do during their travels. We only partner with the best sites in all stages of the travel lifecycle and will continue to do so in 2011 and beyond.

Can you see TAN making more acquisitions? More travel websites perhaps? Or tools?

We are always in market looking to align ourselves with top travel brands— sometimes it’s about the products and services we offer consumers; sometimes it’s about aligning ourselves with the brand or content already established by another site in order to grow our huge worldwide audience.

Why is building and owning a technology infrastructure important as opposed to licensing it?

We use both approaches as it relates to technology. There are some products and or strategies where we feel building is a competitive advantage for us. On the other hand, there are cases where we are looking for speed, and licensing makes sense.

By John Ebbert

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