Tuesday, September 15, 2009

5to1 Lets Publishers Regain Control Over Unsold Ad Inventory

5to1, a startup with a high-profile founding team that includes former Fox Interactive execs Jim Heckman and Ross Levinsohn, has raised $4.5 million
in seed funding to work on a solution that can turn remnant advertising
into premium advertising. The company’s breaking out of stealth mode
today at TechCrunch50 with a service that could rid both publishers and advertisers of the extremely ineffective ad campaigns that are basically only beneficial to the networks selling them.

The 5to1 system allows publishers to get in between the remnant
networks and the ad inventory to give them more control over what will
appear on the site, where and when. The company’s founder and CEO Jim
Heckman dubs it a “Match.com meets iTunes for advertising” because it
allows publishers to dynamically create ‘playlists’ of ad units of
sorts and easily run both proper ads and potentially placeable remnant
ads on variable places on their website(s).

Ultimately, the goal is to make it easier for content publishers to
increase the quality of – and with it, the revenue that comes from –
the ads that appear on unsold inventory without too much hassle. And if
it takes off we’ll see a lot less of these horrible screaming ads that
you’d never click on even if they held you at gunpoint.

Q – Paul Graham: Humans can only do worse than the best optimization, right?

A: Pages are dynamic. What we found is that a vast majority of ads are not contextual, and we can fix that.

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