Tuesday, March 24, 2009

By 'Optimizing' Ads, Can the Rubicon Project Save Newspapers?

The L.A. firm says its technology, which helps match ads to Web page content, could boost revenue by 60%. This could be the way to make money on online news.
Frank Addante of Rubicon
Stefano Paltera / For The Times
“We want to be the Visa, the Nasdaq of online advertising,” says Frank Addante, co-founder and CEO of ad optimization service the Rubicon Project.
By Dan Neil
Los Angeles Times

This promises to be the Silent Spring for big print media. Already this year we've lost the Rocky Mountain News and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Dozens of other papers have been driven to the brink by double-digit losses in circulation and print advertising revenue and an overburden of untenable corporate debt. My beloved L.A. Times, owned by the bankrupted Tribune Co., is bleeding reporters and editors from every orifice, despite the fact that the paper's readership -- online, at least -- is through the roof.

Not surprisingly, the news release from the L.A.-based Rubicon Project promising to help newspapers "find money" online caught my eye, as a flotation device attracts the casual interest of a drowning man. With the Rubicon Project's technology, says Frank Addante, the 32-year-old co-founder and chief executive, newspapers and other "premium news" outlets can increase their online revenue by an average of 60% a year.

Could this be, I wondered, daring to hope, the Secret -- the means by which newspapers finally "monetize" their content? Is this the online oxygen for our asthmatic industry? [Click for MORE]

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