She Media builds ad marketplace through Google to serve diverse publishers and creators
She Media is building a new digital advertising program, using Google Ad Manager, that will serve “underrepresented publishers” through what is being called “Meaningful Marketplaces.”
On Friday, She Media announced the new way of buying ads that is meant to support a network of publishers run by groups that have been traditionally marginalized in the internet ad ecosystem. It’s also a programmatic ad market, which means that brands can buy inventory using the same automated technology they use to set up internet campaigns elsewhere. But it is “for advertisers seeking to support Black, Latinx, or LGBTQ+ people, as well as women,” She Media said in its announcement.
The publishers involved are part of She Media’s network of 1,000 websites, which includes independent publishers and creators, so the revenue goes to support their properties.
“We are just turning on the floodgates, where you can actually buy this way” says Samantha Skey, CEO at She Media, “You can say, ‘I only want to buy my media with Black-owned businesses.’ You can say, “I only want to buy media with publishers who identify as Latinx.’”
Google and publishers have been responding to the changing demands in advertising, and the world, where there have been increased demands for more diversity and inclusion. The racial justice movement that found momentum in 2020, especially after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, has forced a lot of companies to rethink how they do business and how they support voices from groups that have historically been overlooked.
“We’ve had a diverse array of independent publishers for [years],” Skey says. “What we didn’t have was the ability to buy media specifically with a publisher based on their [self-identified] racial, sexual orientation, or their gender profile.”
Meaningful Marketplaces does not target ads based on the characteristics of the readers of the websites, it targets the publication. And the owners of the websites self-identify, Skey says.
It’s also good business to diversify, as more brands have embraced the cause. Major corporations want to show they are trying to spread the wealth to publications and businesses that represent diverse audiences. Skey says that She Media has already seen interest among advertisers for the ad marketplace that will start running in February, which is also Black History Month.
The marketplace reaches sites like Black Girls Eat and Busy Wife Busy Life. She Media says that 50 of the sites are Black-owned. All of She Media reaches 50 million readers a month in the new marketplace, the company says.
She Media developed the ad marketplace through Google Ad Manager, which is software for publishers to control how campaigns run across their sites.
Skey made the announcement about the new marketplace in a blog post on Friday, which promoted some of the Black-run sites that are in the network, including BabySleepSite.com, owned by Nicole Johnson. "Partnering with She Media has helped us significantly improve our revenue,” Johnson said in the announcement. “Through a two-pronged strategy, optimizing ad revenue with high impact placements and pursuing direct sponsorships, we’ve taken advantage of She Media’s holistic approach to grow our business.”