Capital18 funded WebChutney has roped in Rammohan Sundaram and seven Yahoo employees to launch separate ad network company called Networkplay. GoSindbad and DivaNation, two vertical ad networks which were incubated at Goosefish Media Ventures, are now a part of Networkplay, which will launch other verticals in the first quarter of 2009, including Business, Technology, News, Shopping, Social Media and Entertainment. We’d written about most of these verticals in June, but Goosefish had subsequently denied looking beyond Travel and Women focused networks. Goosefish Media Ventures is a 100 percent owned subsidiary of Webchutney. As per the release, GoSindbad has been something of a success – with around over 15 advertisers including HP, AMD, Volkswagon, Hyundai.
What’s the difference between an ad network with multiple vertical channels, and a company with multiple vertical ad networks?
Independence of Ad Networks
This notion of the independence of ad networks has been a subject some debate – if they’re placing the inventory for their advertiser clients, should agencies launch their own networks? Having Webchutney working with brands like HP must help – much like in case of the Quasar–Tyroo and Interactive Avenues–AdMagnet combines. Networks will use the agency affiliation, and its advertiser clients to get publishers on board. But what happens If every agency launches its own network?
The networks usually pitch the advertisers that the agency has, to the publisher. But what if publishers themselves launch networks?
This might not be very easy for the Webchutney group to pull off, because in some instances (Tech and Woman networks in particular), the same group has the agency (WebChutney), the ad network (Networkplay, DivaNation) and its own websites (Alootechie, Bombay Bitch). Some publishers like Ibibo have also launched their own network – Adwinks. The question that Webchutney has to answer, is whether other publishers are concerned about this or not. We’ve heard of the growing panic among publishers with the downturn; rates, apparently, have softened, so for the time being, it may not be an issue.
P.s.: Webchutney humour at its best – go here and click on the “I am from Lehman Brothers” link. :)
Disclosures: I have an inconsequential number of shares of Capital18 Network18; Alootechie, a part of Goosefish Media Ventures covers the Internet industry in India, which MediaNama also covers.