VisualDNA Launches New Publisher-Side Audience Targeting Platform For Mirror News Group

VisualDNAVisualDNA announced a new product it just launched with the Mirror Newspaper Group (see it) in the UK. The company calls it a “new publisher product that effectively provides them with a form of DSP (demand-side platform) for their entire audience.”

CEO Alex Willcock of Imagini Holdings Limited, an advertising technology company and makers of VisualDNA, discussed the publisher-side product’s strategy. When you say “Demand Side Platform technology for publishers” – what do you mean? Publishers are on the sell-side, after all.

AW: “DSP” is clearly an overused term. By “Audience-based DSP for publishers”, what we are setting out to mean is a platform that is used directly by the demand side, i.e. agencies and advertisers, to buy audiences, but one that puts publishers in control and enables them to sell their audience on the network aswell as their own site.

Is it fair to say Visual DNA in the sell-side platform business along side companies such as AdMeld, Pubmatic and Rubicon Project?

To us a sell side platform is a platform that optimises remnant inventory for a publisher by enabling multiple networks and exchanges to compete for inventory.

We don’t compete with the sell side platforms (and are actually partnering with them). The sell-side platforms focus on monetizing remnant unsold inventory whereas we focus on enabling publishers to generate higher CPMs from their directly sold inventory. Technically, it is ‘the same’ but the way we a re doing it is quite different. We’re actively aligning ourselves with the Publishers and handing over a very rich tool set for them to describe their audience in a powerful new way.

What’s the target market with the product?

Our target market is any publisher that wants to concentrate on selling audiences rather than impressions. Large publishers with broad audiences that we are able to turn into a rich and varied set of individuals. News sites like,, and general interest sites (we are launching with a big one in the US soon). Retailers with large audiences who want to derive extra revenue by monetizing their audience off their site will also benefit.

How does this product provide a data strategy for the publisher?

Our profiling technology is complimentary to other data strategies for publishers, but is unique in the market in enabling publishers to monetize their audience by collecting high value user data such as offline interests, tastes and brand preferences.

Why do UK or European publishers in particular need this type of platform? What are key challenges that UK or European publishers face?

UK and European publishers face similar challenges to those in the US. In particular their is now a clear shift beginning in Europe from publishers selling impressions to publishers selling audiences and publishers recognise this will allow them to generate significantly higher revenues per user.

By John Ebbert

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