The Missing Ad Unit

For the past six years, AVC has run display advertising in the right column. I chose to do this for a bunch of reasons. At the time, USV was an active investor in ad:tech companies and I felt that I needed a laboratory to explore trends in display advertising. In addition, the revenue generated by that ad unit was material, almost $25,000 last year, all of which has gone to charity since I started running advertising on AVC. And I wanted to support Federated Media, a company started by my friend John Battelle, and now run by another friend Deanna Brown. Federated has always exclusively sold the display advertising on AVC.

A few weeks ago, Federated announced that it was getting out of the "directly sold display advertising business" in favor of programmatic display and conversational marketing. Federated purchased Lijit a year or two ago and it has turned that business into a huge and growing programmatic (meaning machines buy and sell the ads) advertising business. Federated has also built a number of interesting conversational marketing products not unlike the advertising units that Zemanta and Disqus operate on this blog.

So like Federated, I am walking away from high priced CPM driven display advertising. I could keep running the programmatic ad units that have been on display here as of late, but I find that uninteresting to me and likely to all of you too. Instead, I want to explore more conversational marketing oriented (ie native) advertising here on AVC. I hope to be able to work with my friends at Federated on that. They have been awesome to work with over the past six years.

What will not change is that all ad revenue generated here at AVC will be donated to charity. I am not interested in operating a for profit business on AVC.

What might change is the blog layout now that the right side of the blog looks a bit vacant. Nathan and I are discussing a single column layout that should render better on mobile. More to come on that.