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.


Comments (Archived):

  1. takingpitches

    Funny – I don’t think I ever noticed the advertising.I’m glad someone did (or whoever was placing the advertising perceived they did) because that it is a nice sum you were able to donate to charity!

    1. fredwilson

      that’s the problem with non-native advertising. if it’s not part of the flow/experience, it is not that noticeable

      1. takingpitches

        is conversational marketing like:the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade orWharton presents today’s MBA Monday post?

        1. falicon

          I think both of those could be considered in the realm…but personally I think it goes even further…more like what the Kid mentioned in other comments, things like ‘Feature Friday’ where a specific product/service *is* the focus of the post/conversation…that’s what I think of as conversational marketing.It could also be things that are a natural fit in the spaces between the post and the comments (like the ‘related posts’ area Fred mentioned)…so long as it feels like a natural and relevant flow to the experience of the conversation…

          1. Techman

            I loved the blogs we read post. I wonder if Fred would give Techman’s World another mention of the site due to the redesign and such. Perhaps he could also help me with reviews, as I’m trying to produce more original content like reviews, but contacting the big companies for review products is a pain at times.Actually, that day when Fred the post I didn’t visit his site that day yet and I look at my Blogger Dashboard and it was blowing up in traffic. I knew instantly someone linked to my site, and then there it was. In the #1 spot was Fred’s blog post. I was quite happy that day πŸ™‚

          2. briannegarcia

            I JUST (today was my 2nd day) started my new position as Content Marketing Manager at a media company (100+ publishers in-network) and have been losing sleep over what “native advertising” really means at its core, and how it fits our media company’s extremely specific demographic (males ages 16-29). I’m a former-writer-turned-entrepreneur, so I can no longer turn a blind eye to revenue and how publishers make their dough. Now I want to know how it’s structured, priced and how this scales.I came across this definition of native (they called it “Conversational Media”) I like on TNW: CM “aims to align an advertiser with a topic, rather than having the advertiser itself be the subject of the post.”So to @fredwilson:disqus’s point: the natural flow is everything. But in addition to that (and to add to @falicon:disqus’s point): an advertiser’s product/service as the core focus of a piece of content is one way, but to me, this just feels like a plain old sponsored post / advertorial. It’s up to innovators to invent, produce and execute new ways of giving advertisers prime real estate while still having a USERS FIRST (or, readership first) mentality. Because if it feels like a promo post, no one wants to read it. I’ve been looking at examples like Vice + Intel, Fast Company + Dyson and of course, BuzzFeed. But I still think there’s improving to do. And figuring out how to structure and scale.

          3. falicon

            Congrats on the new position…please keep us updated as to how your definition and thoughts evolve around native advertising as you dig more into it!

        2. fredwilson

          it’s “brad feld on startup communities:…….”

  2. John

    Sounds like the right time to move to WordPress during the redesign.

    1. fredwilson

      that is a big effort. and i really don’t want to mess up any SEO.

      1. John

        Work with VIP and they’ll do all the work. Plus, being on can actually benefit your SEO if done right. As you wish though, it is the Holiday season and not a good time to take on a project. Plus, you have a family housing redesign that Sandy provided.

        1. fredwilson

          i sure do

          1. Techman

            But VIP does not allow Disqus and is a “locked down jail house” like you have said before. You could install WordPress and move over posts and comments. I’m sure there are a few WordPress plugins to get this done. I know a few people here are good folks for consulting too for WordPress, maybe one of the Disqus folks for example.Oh, and why are you concerned with SEO that much? Not trying to be mean or anything but try not to focus on that :). It’s all about content, like you know already. Just keep producing great content and your site’s ratings will improve. Do you know that my site now has a PR of 5 out of 10? That’s a huge jump from what I had just a few months ago, and my site is not even a year old yet.

          2. fredwilson

            i want people to be able to find the posts they are looking for and most people use google to do stuff like that

          3. falicon

            As long as you keep your URL structure, and have a clean import, Google (and other search engines) should not notice or care about what blogging platform you are using (the only *real* change from the front will be the IP address that may cause a small DNS issue for a day or so).Of course keeping the URL structure and doing a ‘clean import’ are actually two fairly complex issues to deal with when talking about a collection of content the size of avc.Overall though – I don’t see a huge advantage or reason compelling enough to make any blogging platform switch worthwhile for you (and if you were going to make any switch, I would think Tumblr would be the most obvious choice to move towards anyway).

          4. fredwilson

            I have been thinking of going to tumblr but I don’t love how they fuck with the mobile view of the blog. In fact my biggest pet peeve is the idea that someone else (tumblr, WP, onswipe) thinks they know how my blog should render on mobile better than I do

          5. William Mougayar

            You don’t have to show that awful generic mobile view on WP. You can go Responsive design. We just did that for our blog (WP) here: Even the Disqus Discovery parts look goodWith responsive, you decide what your website looks like for each device size,- smartphone, tablets, desktops, etc. it’s a continuum. I hope your new is totally responsive. You test that on the desktop by narrowing the size of the window to simulate various screen sizes & you should see the content re-organize itself accordingly. is another good example of responsive design.

          6. falicon

            I hate that as well…it’s probably my only ‘real’ gripe with Tumblr at the moment.

          7. Abdallah Al-Hakim

            Following up on William’s suggestion about Responsive Web design (RWD) – here is a good article explaining some advantages/disadvantages in terms of SEO, google crawler, etc.. of RWD vs mobile view

          8. fredwilson

            yeah, i work with Nathan to create our own templates for various devices and browsers

          9. Techman

            Have you ever heard of something called WP Touch? It is a mobile template system that can be modified to your theme of the site and probably is better than the normal WordPress way of creating a mobile theme for your site.

      2. kidmercury

        the lockin content management systems have is intense. i struggle to think of any internet thing that has a bigger lockin

  3. fascinated

    Sponsored posts, give us sponsored posts! :Þ

    1. fredwilson

      They are all sponsored. By me!

      1. kidmercury

        IMHO feature friday is the real monetization opportunity, everything else will come up short and seem forced — not native. problem is that feature friday is not conducive to being delivered/managed by a third party ad network, which IMO illustrates the morbid fate that such ad networks face.

      2. Alex Murphy

        The core blog is written by you, but something you could do is enable the users to upload their own posts … perhaps you could use tumblr to do this. Perhaps, it would be in a section such as, work with the team at Tumblr to enable posters to promote their AVC tumblog post. Perhaps, let them bid on a ppc basis like a recruiter can on a job within indeed. Or something similar.On a related note, since tomorrow is a day of Thanks. I wanted to say thank you for sharing your thought process, your approach, and your experience. It is a big deal to everyone that has been, is in, or will be in the world of start ups. This open discussion about what to do with the ad space is just another example. You live it, and that is awesome. Readers come here and share their thoughts, and that is awesome. Just thought I would share!

        1. fredwilson

          thanks Alex

        2. takingpitches

          Like that. Use the right side of the blog to rotate through looks into other folks’ blogs!

      3. Techman

        I can say, though, that your mention of Techman’s World did me a huge favor that I cannot repay you for. I updated the site recently with a redesign and I’d like to know your input, as well as the rest of the community’s. Since you said that you follow the site I was wondering if you ever saw the redesign or had something to say about it.

        1. fredwilson

          the new look and feel is more modern and cleaner. i like it.

          1. Techman

            Thanks. I appreciate that.

    2. kidmercury


  4. jason wright

    I’ve never noticed that there was advertising here.I have noticed the way you weave the latest developments from your portfolio companies into your posts πŸ™‚ That’s native.

    1. fredwilson

      yes. those are “messages from the sponsor”

  5. Nate

    Sponsored posts (as seen on Daring Fireball, Asymco, and other independent blogs) are popular.I think they’re more honest than traditional display ads because they’re not driven by robots, pageviews, and sidebar placement that readers just ignore. They make the blog owner really consider the relevance and quality of the ads.The downside is that they’re a lot of work.

  6. William Mougayar

    How about a combination of permanent sponsorships and native/re-targeted advertising?Permanent sponsorships could be up to 4 fixed corporate logos that are purchased for a 3 or 4 months time frame. That alone will net you more than $25K per year. Could be done at $3K/3 month units, which will amount to $48K/year. I’m sure companies will line-up to get these spots for your 250,000 viewers. That’s how my friend Vinnie Mirchandani does it on his blog http://dealarchitect.typepa….For the other segment, have you considered re-targeted ad units, so if a user has been looking for something, they’ll see Ads about that something when they visit, and it’s more personalized that way while you make your cut.

    1. fredwilson

      i am not going to sell out AVC to the highest bidder

    2. Techman

      How on Earth did your friend to this though? And also that site consumes a lot of resources for the dynamically changing frames for the company logos…However, I agree with Fred. I wouldn’t sell out Techman’s World to the highest bidder either. If anything right now, just text links. And even with that, Techman’s World is in no rush to start earning money via advertisements.

      1. William Mougayar

        He serves a very focused segment of readers that matches the targets of those companies that sponsor it. Think of it like a super high/premium CPM. Note I used those numbers as an example, so I wasn’t implying he’s getting those exact rates.

        1. Techman

          Oh I see. Thanks for the explanation.

  7. coglethorpe

    I do notice a “RECOMMENDED FOR YOU” section at the bottom, which looks like it’s how Disqus pays their bills? I has relevant ads, such as “5 Amazing Cell Phone Accessories You Can’t Live Without” from Citi Women & Co, whoever they are.

    1. fredwilson

      it is how disqus will pay their billsand it has to get bettera lot better

      1. Techman

        So they will resort to advertising as their way to earn money. I hope they don’t make advertising mandatory in the future as in that case companies like Lifefyre would have major firepower to pull users over to their platform. I don’t think that big publishers ditching Disqus for a lesser system such as Livefyre is a good idea, but it’s one add-on plan they don’t have anymore. As Disqus is gaining employees they have to get money from somewhere. I’m not business major but I can figure that out πŸ™‚

        1. fredwilson

          publishers (ie bloggers) can always opt out of the advertising stuffbut they share revenue with the publishers so i think its the other way aroundwith LF, you can’t make moneywith disqus you can, if you want to

  8. Brandon Burns

    “the revenue generated by that ad unit was material”yet so many investors poo-poo advertising as a revenue model…”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.”since forever, and institutionally since the 1700s, people have been carving out space on their property and selling it to others who want to talk to people looking at said property. this puts money in the pocket of the owner of the property, and allows patrons to enjoy it at a reduced or free cost, thanks to the sponsor. maybe its not interesting, but it makes a lot of people happy and gets a lot of people paid. i get looking for more current ways to do this, but i’m not sure why so many people continue to chase alternative models. haven’t google and facebook β€” who make the majority of the web’s advertising revenue (or revenue of any kind, really) through their “native” versions of what’s pretty much normal display advertising β€” haven’t they taught us anything?i dunno. i used to work in advertising. i just don’t get the anti-advertising thing. its a machine that’s been working for hundreds of year. if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t get it either

      1. Brandon Burns

        the minority is a lonely place.good thing i have lots of practice thriving in such a place, on many fronts. as i’m sure you do, too. this blog being case in point.

  9. David Semeria

    That blank space is a great opportunity to randomly plug stuff that interests / inspires you.

    1. falicon

      Or maybe have Disqus randomly pull out relevant comments or community members to highlight…

      1. fredwilson

        i like that idea

        1. Techman

          Disqus does have a recent comments widget and such, but the removed the listing of it from the admin panel and they haven’t explained why, unless they did and I was blind to miss it. Do you know anything about this?

  10. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    I also never noticed the ads much. I look forward to the new look.

  11. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    What does everything of the blog format for svbtle – I know it is an invite only but I like the simple and clean formate of the blog – I don’t know what their plans are for displaying future advertisement

    1. takingpitches

      I like the clean format, but I hate the invite-only part.Sort of misses the point of blogging, I think.

      1. falicon

        I also don’t like that none of the svbtle posts I’ve come across have Disqus (or any other commenting option)…and don’t even get me started on the fact they have no search feature either…Design is great and very readable though… πŸ˜‰

        1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

          I agree with you and @takingpitches:disqus – I don’t like the invite only feature. It seems similar to what Medium is trying to do – however Medium will apparently allow you to write a new post in the same group. I did find on svbtle looking blog post today with disqus comments but it is a first!

        2. Techman

          Having no commenting system on those pages are a total fail, even if it is not Disqus. Greatly dampers opportunity for quality community discussion.

    2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      It did nothing for me. I was underwhelmed by people trying hard to show off how they don’t need to show off or try. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

      1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

        Point taken. I am most bothered by the lack of comments

  12. ShanaC

    I actually think the programmatic buying and selling is really interesting, if only because it points to the differences between creative and media and how they have to evolve as different fields.I don’t fully believe (with some exception) in fully “native” ads. A lot of the emerging ad types will be standardized (eg: coupon bidding on foursquare vs yelp). It doesn’t pay to go and make so many custom ad types. Tracking also becomes a b**ch and a half. Way too complicated if you are doing custom ad types (and to the point, technically speaking, aside for the liking part, facebook ads are an already existing IAB type with a social targeting engine). How do you know with all custom type if you got your value?I’m actually really curious how ad tech will develop – effectively for display, we have the start of a hedge fund model. Plus with new emerging types, I am sort of curious if one could actually arbitrage audience and media type, especially if one has a strong creative team that embraces the limitations of digital ad formats (it seems like lots of people are quite bad at that)(note: I’m really really biased in this regard)

    1. Techman

      Hey Shana what happened to your avatar? Or was it always the default one?

      1. ShanaC

        err, disqus ate it. and now I need to find a picture of me

        1. Techman

          It was probably lost when they were updating their system. I know that default avatars for websites were lost and a few user avatars were lost. Hosting your avatar via gravatar is a good idea too, that way you can have a single avatar across the web.

          1. ShanaC

            yeah. gravatars are overkill for me πŸ™‚

  13. bobmonsour

    Fred, I pick up your feed in Google Reader and today’s post has an ad appearing at the bottom. I sometimes click through to see the blog post on the site, but not always. I did it today as I had not observed the site in a while (and saw it ad-less). Have a great Thanksgiving!

    1. fredwilson

      the feed advertising is going away too. google is getting rid of ads in feedburner

      1. Guest

        Well that means less for charity I guess.

      2. Techman

        I do have an idea though. How about you and @falicon:disqus get together and possibly make some system similar to feedburner? That can display ads if you desire. Kevin’s products are so awesome anyways, and I don’t see why this idea wouldn’t be to terrible to achieve.

        1. falicon

          You are too kind, but thank you!

          1. Techman

            No, I’m not too kind. If a product is awesome I’m going to say it :). Since is getting smarter at separating posts from the rest of websites, you could use that code to make a feedburner type system. Inserting ads, however, might be a bit different. It’s a big idea, but I’m sure that a system like that and could help each other out.

  14. falicon

    “conversational marketing”…love it.I believe the atomic unit of the modern internet (and much of society actually) is the conversation (hence my focus on ‘conversation search’).I predict you will continue to see great things come from the focus on conversations…

    1. fredwilson


  15. Mike Duda

    Idea:A dual blog post resurrecting your issues on marketing/branding and a counterpoint to it. The counterpointer (word?) pays $1 for every comment generated.

  16. kidmercury

    sponsored posts are coming up a lot in the comments here, and rightfully so. it is the future. the problem for silicon valley is that sponsored posts done properly are not conducive to a highly scalable, algorithmic approach like google or any of the google wannabes. a media network is the real winner here. jdawg was really on to something with mahalo, but alas you have to go niche before you can go for the big network. that’s the part that everyone forgets. they are blinded by dollar signs, though ironically, they would be better positioned to maximize their long-term profits if they focused on taking a niche-by-niche approach rather than a “let’s build the mega network and then build all the niches within it” approach. firms that try the latter, which is basically everyone that gets media hype, will run right into google and amazon, where they will meet an untimely fate that so often falls upon startups that challenge incumbents on the incumbents’ core competence.

    1. fredwilson

      jdawg is too far ahead for his own good

      1. kidmercury

        lol you know you are probably right about that! πŸ™‚

    2. Techman

      I think sponsored posts would corrupt the site a bit. Sure they can present something beneficial for the community but then again it’s just a sponsored post. If Fred ever went with this I’d hope that he makes sure the post is meaningful, and that the whole post is not about linking to something. There are so many promoted systems out there that are all in the game of link baiting people into visiting pages and therefor conning search engines.Of course rel=”nofollow” fixes this but then what if a post is about something such as blog discovery?

  17. kidmercury

    have you guys seen this video from the onion……for my fellow social media marketers……hhahahahhahahha!

    1. JimHirshfield

      Robots. Ha!

    2. Abdallah Al-Hakim

      You just reminded me to watch. I have been hearing good things

  18. JimHirshfield

    Putting your money where your mouth is. Respect.

  19. David Cohen

    Fred, I’ve been reading your blog faithfully for the past year. Like others who’ve commented, I can’t honestly say I recall seeing any ads on the sidebar.I won’t declare display ads/PPC dead, but the attention we’re giving them is dying. We still love stories…

  20. anand

    I still like the minimalist design and don’t miss all the flair (i.e. MyBloglog). Kudos for the continued support of charitable orgs.

    1. fredwilson

      i tried the busy approach and i am 100% with you now

  21. johnbattelle

    Fred look forward to working with you and the community here on this. It’s cool to see the conversation in comments, I’m listening!

    1. fredwilson

      john battelle in the house!

      1. Donna Brewington White

        That’s a big deal! Very cool.

    2. takingpitches

      John, love your blog, especially the World is an Internet Startup post!

  22. lisa hickey

    I have always thought that the best advertising mirrored the media it appeared in. Say you have a 30 second tv commercial that sits in a 30 minute TV program. The commercial has actors and actress and a mucical button, and if it’s any good it is 100% entertaining – just like the program it is in. A newspaper advertisement is rectangular piece of news with headlines and copy – just like a newspaper. A radio commercial, done well, is theatre of the mind. Just like the best radio. Search ads deliver what people are searching for.But banner ads – banner ads never lived up to the potential of what the internet was all about. And now that you have great multimedia conversational content, it only makes sense that internet advertising follow great, multi-media, conversations also. Sharing knowledge. Debating issues. Learning and doing. And whatever problem it is that an advertisers product actually solves – well – get people talking about that problem. Banner ads never lived up to that promise.As a media publisher, I’m very excited as to where this is heading.

    1. fredwilson

      yup. i totally agree. that is my native advertising concept

      1. Techman

        From the looks of it, as you plan it to be, this could be pulled off and benefit everyone.

  23. leigh

    um….yeah! look forward to the new design. Tumblr template perhaps?

    1. fredwilson

      i am feeling quite stuck on typepad

      1. Techman

        Oh yeah, why are you stuck on Typepad again?If anything you should look into either or Drupal as the next generation CMS for AVC, as I think you don’t want to move to Blogger.

        1. kidmercury

          drupal for sure…..although that becomes more work, planning, moderation, etc.

  24. Pete Griffiths

    I think it’s a great idea to experiment with native ads.

  25. Matt Zagaja

    I only buy advertised goods if they coincide with a planned purchase or they are especially unique or interesting. Sometimes I choose to buy or use advertised goods as a show of support for a website or content source I frequent. As a listener of TWiT I bought a Slingbox (which is decent but has had issues and I’ve been sort of disappointed with, it crashes my wireless router and fails a little too often but is great when it does work) and also sold an old MacBook Pro via Gazelle. So if you have advertisers I’d rather see startups I haven’t heard of than Crest Toothpaste or McDonald’s burgers.

  26. Jim Kingsbury

    First time caller here but I’m inspired by this concept and excited to watch how it plays out. Do your plans to move to more conversational / native advertising extend to your mobile site? Also, about a year ago, you shared some stats about the % of your readers using mobile devices. Would be interesting to see how those #s have trended over the past year.

  27. LE

    The purpose of what I’m writing here is not to get you to do any of the things I mention/suggest. It’s simply to defend advertising as something that, if done right (duh), is very valuable. I hate to hear people who say they never pay any attention to ads or that ads don’t work. Or that direct mail is “junk” mail.But I’m notamazed by the number of comments on this post (and that I’ve seen elsewhere) that say that the reader “never noticed the ads” on this site.In addition to some of the reasons mentioned (lack of targeting for one which is easy to fix if you don’t use automation by the way it’s fairly obvious to a human that knows this blog what ads would work here.) another thing that was missing was critical mass of advertisements.You needed more advertising. That is if you want the advertising to work (which is not, I know, your intent).There are successful publications that consist solely of advertising (they actually have no content at all). People pay attention to the ads because the ads have value and while each individual ad might not be targeted someone is likely to find something they need (and be intermittently reinforced) by something they find. Another example is “card packs” which are/were big in industry and display products that are used by, say, a particular industrial niche. The total pack has 99% what you don’t need and 1% what you are interested in. So by putting more ads on your site (see “math” below as well) you are giving users (of this blog in particular) a bunch of products that they may have an interest in and they are more likely to pay attention. Ive attached an example of what does. It’s more like a directory style. It’s colorful and actually ads to the content on the page (color is good). The uniform size of the ads makes it easy for your eye to skip from one ad to the next. I know you wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole. But when people say “I didn’t see the ads” the fact that you don’t have that is one of the reasons.Now of course I realize that you won’t want to do something like this for many reasons. (I once had an idea for ads at gas pumps and was told by Sunoco that they simply didn’t want to have ads on their gas pumps because their gas was sacred but they and others ended up doing that idea many years later (including video). I don’t know to what degree it worked or how well it was executed.More ads. That’s right. There needed to be more advertisements on the right gutter. After all a big part of this blog is the comments and the ad that is on this blog only appeared next to whatever you had written. So you have a set of eyeballs going down the page and you have no ads. The one ad at the top is easy to miss and that assumes it even would be of interest. How much time do people spend reading your post and how much time do they spend skimming the 200 comments?Math. You said that last year you earned $25,000 from advertising. That’s about $70 per day. That is way less than the value of the eyeballs on this blog every day because they are eyeballs that are paying attention. Regardless of whether your purpose isn’t to commercialize or not, even if you are giving the money to charity the money you could be earning is more money to do charity things with.

  28. sbmiller5

    Why not try from iSocket. Use that as a method to open converstaions with brands that are interested in your community and see what they want to see from native advertising with this community?

  29. SquadRun

    This is an example of “in-stream” advertising for Federated πŸ˜‰

  30. Adrian Bye

    which charity does the ~$25k in ad revenue from avc go to?

    1. fredwilson

      the solomon wilson family foundation and from there into a whole host of charities we support from that entity

      1. Adrian Bye

        thanks for responding.

      2. Techman

        That’s a lot of money from just advertisements. Do you have any analytics on how they operate on your site?That’s a very nice deed that you do regularly Fred.

  31. Chris Phenner

    AVC should hold a ‘Native Unit Hackathon’ that re-imagines what new unit types should live on AVC.

    1. fredwilson

      there are quite a few companies working on this already. i think we can experiment using real companies that will support their offerings

  32. Eric Friedman

    This is actually interesting because of the move to native ad units (in feed or wherever your attention is). I was forced to make a prediction for next year, and called the native ad unit something that will be commonplace in apps and services – not adjacent but injected into the flow. However, native ad units have never been organic to blogs. I wonder if there is a nature way to introduce ad content in a way that works. and have new layouts that are experimenting with this a bit, but traditional CPM buys have them cornered.Its an interested problem for someone to try to solve as so many publishers are incentivized to have a better ad system.

    1. fredwilson

      I think its the outbrain model and variants thereof

  33. Michael K

    Get Adblade or Google ads in your article or below your article, Those will generate better eCPMs then any right rail ads.

    1. Techman

      The think I don’t like that much about Google Advertising is that it is pay per click, not pay per impression.Does it make sense to run ads on your site, even if they are just text links, knowing that you’ll only get paid if someone clicks on the link? I don’t find that very appealing as advertisers are still having their ads display on your site and they can get away with a free ride, per say, because no one has to click on them.I’m not that familiar with Adblade. Can you tell a bit about them?