Starting in May, a host of outside publishers--including Ad Age,
Conde Nast and Time Inc.'s People--will begin using the technology
and sharing revenue with the Times, making it the first product
from the Times' R&D Ventures group to be made available to
"This is an entirely new concept in digital marketing that
creates a whole new class of inventory: socially-driven inventory,"
Michael Zimbalist, VP-research and development operations at The
Times Co., said at back in April.
Up to now, advertisers have been able to only access content
from NYTimes.com, Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com - all owned by The
New York Times Company (for the moment). Starting May 1,
advertisers will be able to fix their ads to web articles from Ad
Age as well as The New Yorker, Glamour, Wired and other Conde Nast
titles. Articles from People will also be available as a part of a
Time Inc. pilot.
For advertisers, Richochet campaigns will only be as good as
their ability to distribute the individual pieces of content on
their own - whether to their followings on social networks or
through paid channels such as Outbrain. On the other side, the
technology seems like a good deal for publishers: it essentially
helps them get paid to let advertisers distribute their work for
Individual publishers set their own prices and share the
resulting ad revenue with The Times Co., which won't comment on the
specific terms of those deals. Each publisher also makes their own
rules about which pieces of content an advertiser can bind their
ads to. A publisher could decide, for example, that advertisers
can't tie their ads to articles about themselves or about their
Ricochet will be a self-serve marketplace for advertisers by May
1, Mr. Zimbalist said in a brief interview. They'll be able to
search the content database by topic, upload their ad creative,
choose from different page layouts if a publisher offers them, and
set the duration of the campaign.
For now, The Times Co. is focused on working only with "premium
content providers," he said. "Over time, as the marketplace grows,
it's conceivable that we'll add different niches," he added.