The Times group is launching a new platform called Times AdCenter which will help advertisers buy inventory on the group’s digital properties which together bring in about 59 million* monthly unique visitors.
All of the group’s digital inventory will be sold on the platform (and through direct sales), which will have better targeting capability and allows programmatic buying. The company says that while it will continue to work with Google, its audience targeting capabilities will remain exclusive to the platform.
This is a major evolution for the country’s largest newspaper publisher, as it offers features similar to that of Google & slowly shifts some amount of physical sales to the online platform. Until now, you could buy advertising on Times properties through the Times Group’s direct sales channels, Google etc.
Essentially, the company is creating a unified buying experience for its advertisers (see pic). It works across mobile, native, web and video.“We’ve created hundreds of audience buckets which will help advertisers target them better,” Swapnil Shrivastav, the product head of Times AdCenter said.
It will also allow advertisers to buy inventory on Times Local Partner websites like Gizmodo India and Business Insider in India. The platform is currently being used by 6 brands on a pilot basis.
“We saw a 100% increase in click through rates during a/b testing for a brand,” said Srivastav. The platform will compete with Google and others with its capability to target its audience. As a differentiation, Times is offering personalized sales and service support.
Times AdCenter’s core platform is an adstack that programmatically connects an ad server, billing backend, data management platform, analytics, RTBs etc. It includes
Expresso; An internal sales and billing automation framework layered over dynamic pricing.
Columbia: A campaign optimization engine.
A major share of digital advertising goes to Facebook, Google Sites, Yahoo Sites, Network18, Rediff and Times Internet. In March, the group launched a self service platform for brands to create augmented reality campaigns for the Times of India Alive app users.
* Times Internet’s internal numbers.
** We’ve updated this post based on updates shared by Times Internet. The company said that it will continue to work with Google.