Deportalization and Internet Advertising II

Mountains

Glam hired a new guy today. Techcrunch, VentureBeat and PaidContent all posted about it.

All of the reporting on this hire focus on Glam’s coup in getting their man, and on their profitability heading into Q4. There is little in the way of analysis, which is probably quite reasonable on a news-filled Monday morning here on the West Coast..

As TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid reports:

Glam Media has scored a major senior hire, landing Josh Jacobs, Yahoo’s Vice President & GM Advertising Technology Platforms who currently runs Yahoo’s entire display ad platform and previously ran the portal’s publisher network. Jacobs will be joining Glam as Senior Vice President of Brand Advertising Products & Marketing, where he’ll run all of Glam’s brand advertising products, as well as marketing and communications. This is a major win for Glam, which has shown strong growth through the economic downturn as it eats away marketshare from the likes of Yahoo, MSN, and AOL.

However, there is a more strategic conclusion to draw from Glam’s recent trajectory and from this hire in particular. Glam is unique in having successfully built a new model that is far more focused on the evolving landscape of publishing and reading habits than any of its competitors. Samir Arora – Glam’s CEO – grasped very early that the growth in the number of publishers on the Internet would lead to a changing landscape for advertisers. By grasping the trend early he has succeeded in building a most impressive business. A woman’s content site, with virtually no original content, where the majority of the traffic is not on glam.com, but is on the several hundred publisher sites that make up the Glam network. By realizing that the audience is already there, and that the business is to take advertising to it, rather than to seek to capture it for a destination portal, Arora has figured out how to grow a large business, even in hard times.

I wrote about deportalization quite some time ago, and spelled out its implications. As we move from the era of deportalization into the new era characterized by the real time stream, Glam are positioned to continue to grow. Display advertising is a major element in Glam’s strategy and rightly so. High value audiences are found clustered around all major topics. Ad networks typically fail to realize the value of those audiences, or adequately facilitate a brand from engaging with them. Glam is simply a small indication of the potential for passion-focused distributed advertising.

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