Yellowbook had signed on to a new local ad exchange launched today by Chitika, an ad network established in 2003 that serves more than 2 billion monthly impressions across 80,000 Web sites. The core idea is to apply the ad exchange model to the local and mobile space.
For Yellowbook, the exchange offers a way to better monetize its own local traffic while offering its existing advertisers broader reach. Yellowbook has half a million advertisers and generates more than 100 million searches per month, according to Mike Wilson, GM and vice president of digital media at Yellowbook.
The new ad exchange also has mobile local and pay-per-call components. Chitika says it already serves 100 million local mobile impressions every month.
Chitika has created a local-oriented mobile ad unit that will detect mobile devices and serve an ad designed for mobile users. The ads also allow visitors who receive a local ad on their phone to call the advertiser with one touch.
“We’re always looking for unique opportunities to extend the reach of our more than half a million clients beyond the traditional distribution platforms,” says Wilson. “The first time we saw what Chitika was doing with LAX, we recognized the incredible impact this synergistic platform could deliver. We believe it meshes well with our overall performance advertising strategy.”
In an e-mail, Chitika CEO Venkat Kolluri offered his take on the deal’s most significant elements.
He said the idea is to “bring to the table the distribution that we already have in our network. Basically we want to aggregate and re-direct the ‘local’ supply and create an adsense-like network for the search+local+mobile sector. We need to draw the industry’s attention to the intersection of search, local and mobile and build a program with special focus in this sector.”
Kolluri also emphasized the fact that the LAX is an open platform. “To be able to succeed and make this work we need to make the program as open as possible so that all types of players can benefit from the core ecosystem.”