CEO Radfar On Clearspring Audience Platform For Advertisers And Publishers

ClearspringHooman Radfar is CEO of Clearspring, a social data and solutions provider. Why are you entering the online audience space now?

HR: Clearspring has always been focused on creating innovative data-driven, technologies to connect publishers and advertisers to users of the social web.  Over the last couple of years, we have done that by creating the largest content sharing platform for publishers.  Through our network, we have built a tremendous audience reach and a highly scalable data processing engine.  This engine processes terabytes of data daily to expose a broad range of real-time insights, which we will leverage with our Audience Platform.  Recently, there has been a dramatic shift in the advertising business as agencies increasingly move spend to ad exchanges.  The key differentiators for media buyers in this new environment are deep and broad audiences, as well as the ability to find those users in real-time.  This disruption has put us in a fantastic position to leverage our existing capabilities, to enter the market as a major player in the audience business – providing tools to both publishers and advertisers.

Can you walk us through how Clearspring’s Audience Platform helps identify audiences? A use case, perhaps?

Via our platform, we gain aggregate insights from over 200MM US users monthly.  We synthesize those insights using our proprietary technology to generate keyword-based segments characterized by intent and influence characteristics.  Our Audience Platform is integrated with the largest DSPs in the space.  Using our platform in conjunction with a DSP, like Invite Media, we can find the audience at the right time.

What would you say differentiates the Clearspring dataset from other datasets such as intent data provided by BlueKai and eXelate or data from ShareThis?

What differentiates us is scale. We reach 200MM users.  In terms of our ability to understand the activities of influencers and those they have influenced, we have the largest reach of any platform.  Specifically, per Comscore, we have approximately 3x the reach of ShareThis and over 10X the number of domains.  That scales gives us significantly better insight into both intent and influence especially in highly competitive markets like movies, automotive, and telecom.

How does AddThis technology benefit the consumer?

AddThis benefits the consumer by providing the easiest way to share any content, to anyone, anywhere with a simple point and click.  With AddThis, users can share web pages, widgets, and photos to friends using 300+ social services like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and more.  In addition, AddThis supports over 57 languages – making us not only the largest sharing network, but also truly global. Users are very passionate about the things they share and the places and people they share things with. We provide more options for users than any other sharing platform and providing those very granular options keeps them more engaged.

How will you marketers buy your data? Will you sell direct or go through partners?

Our Audience Platform will be used by both publishers and advertisers.  With advertisers, our plan is to sell audiences direct via best-of-breed demand-side platforms.  We plan to work with publishers directly as well and will work with them to get them these insights via the optimal channels.

Do you share data revenues with publishers? Any plans here?

We are committed to continuing to add value to our publishers.  AddThis increases traffic to publisher’s sites through the social optimization of link-backs.  Our technology personalizes the service options for any given user based on a number of factors.  The user wins because they see the only the right services at the right time.  The publisher wins because the user is more likely to generate links via sharing.  Moreover, we provide valuable analytics to the publisher that enable them to understand how their content is being virally distributed and what content is driving the most new traffic.  As such, our model today is a value exchange.  We leverage the data in aggregate to provide audiences to advertisers.  We are committed to continuing to add value to publishers, which is why our audience technology will be available to publishers as well.  AOL, one of our largest partners, is partnering with us in this capacity. Whether, it’s new technology or revenue sources, we are committed to making our publishers more successful.

Follow Hooman Radfar (@hoomanradfar), Clearspring (@clearspring) and (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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