Four leading b-to-b publishers and 24/7 Real Media announced the formation of BBN, an ad network of more than 200 Web sites that will reach an estimated 10 million unique monthly visitors. The charter media companies are: Cygnus Business Media, McGraw-Hill Cos., Nielsen Business Media and Reed Business Information.
Derek Reisfield, BBN chairman, said the idea for the network came from the publishers themselves. “People in the industry were looking for ways to find and serve customers that traditionally hadn’t been coming into the b-to-b marketplace,” he said. “By aggregating these b-to-b audiences in different and creative ways, we offer advertisers and agencies the kind of reach that’s hard to get elsewhere with such a high-quality business audience.”
He added that BBN will be inviting additional b-to-b publishers to participate later in the year.
Because of its size, BBN can field a dedicated sales force, which enhances the publishers’ ability to reach nonendemic advertisers.
“We will have inside salespeople calling on clients, and we will be partnering with 24/7 Real Media, which has tremendous access into large agencies and advertisers due to its own network of 150 million unique visitors,” Reisfield said.
“Because these fairly large buys require a certain amount of care and client service, we also will be building an outside sales force.”
Reisfield acknowledged that BBN is entering an arena that is growing increasingly competitive.
Forbes.com, for example, has two networks—the Forbes Audience Network, which covers the company ‘s own sites, and the recently announced Business and Finance Blog Network of preselected non-Forbes sites.
In b-to-b specifically, IDG, Penton Media and RBI-U.S. also have created online ad networks. The IDG Tech Network amasses 100 blogs and independent technology sites beyond its own sites, while Penton and RBI-U.S. have been selling segments of their own audiences.
"The success of our content and site optimization strategies has led to record traffic growth for RBI-US," said Jeff DeBalko, chief Internet officer of RBI-US. "Partnering with the BBN provides us with an additional channel to monetize inventory while our internal brand and network sales teams focus on horizontal and vertical opportunities with our core customers."