NDTV Convergence has said that it expects to make between Rs 90 to 100 crores from a three year deal it has inked with content marketing firm Taboola. The income will be based on traffic projections, but what’s noteworthy here is that Taboola will have exclusivity over content marketing on NDTV properties in this deal. Where there’s exclusivity, there’s usually a minimum guarantee; or maybe NDTV is getting a significant enough premium over market rates to justify exclusivity. It’s surprising and unusual to see a company disclose potential revenue, and we wonder how this might impact other negotiations that Taboola might enter into. Also worth noting is that Taboola had first signed up with NDTV last year.
Taboola competes with Outbrain in India, though there is also AOL owned Gravity: earlier this year, India.com switched from Taboola to Outbrain. Outbrain has other publications like Times Internet, Indian Express, ABP Live, ScoopWhoop and StoryPick as partners. We checked and Taboola also currently has HindustanTimes and (surprise, surprise), Rediff.
Taboola had raised $117 million from Comcast in February, on annual revenues of $200 million; Techrunch had reported that it had been profitable for the six quarters preceding the fundraising announcement.
– Where is the ad placed? This is the kind of advertising inventory that is integrated in spaces that traditional banner advertisers and agencies typically don’t like to advertise: an NDTV.com story I looked up had taboola integrated from the fourth scroll downwards.
– What does it look like? It’s advertising displayed in a manner that it looks like and links to websites with content. Typically, two types of content are marketed using such services: that which is created by advertisers, and that created by other publishers. So if you see a content link on NDTV which says “These villagers once helped a boy. When he got rich, here’s how he repaid them” from Bajaj Finserv, it’s from Taboola. True story:
If that doesn’t work for you, then there’s always “Ten Signs That Tell You Have Thyroid” (sic) from notable publications like MSN.
– Does it make much money? This is likely to be low visibility, low yield revenue, in terms of number the clicks it delivers as a percentage of impressions, but when spread across sites that deliver high impressions (NDTV claims 60 million uniques across properties): it adds up. Google isn’t delivering advertising in this manner yet, but it has launched ‘Matched Content’ units on Adsense earlier this year, so if they reach enough scale with the platform, they might open it up to advertising.