Outbrain

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Outbrain Inc.
Private
Industry Internet
Founded 2006; 11 years ago (2006)
Founder Yaron Galai, Ori Lahav[1]
Headquarters New York City[2]
Key people
Yaron Galai, CEO
Products Content discovery platform
Website outbrain.com

Outbrain is an online advertiser specializing in presenting sponsored website links.

Products[edit]

Outbrain is an advertising company. It uses behavioral targeting to recommend articles, slideshows, blog posts, photos or videos to a reader, rather than relying on a more basic "related items" widget. The sites with the recommended articles pay Outbrain for this service, and Outbrain pays the site on which the links appear.

Outbrain's promoted articles are found on more than 35,000 websites,[3] and serves over 250 billion recommendations and 15 billion page views per month. Outbrain's recommendations reach over 87% of US Internet users.[4]

History[edit]

Outbrain first marketed its content discovery platform in 2006.

It was founded by Yaron Galai and Ori Lahav, who were both officers in the Israeli Navy.[5] Galai sold his company Quigo to AOL in 2007 for $363 million,.[6] Lahav worked at Shopping.com, acquired by eBay in 2005.[7]

The company is headquartered in New York with 13 global offices in London, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Paris, Munich, Milan, Madrid, São Paulo, Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Sydney.[8]

Financing[edit]

The company, as of 2014, had undergone five rounds of funding for a total of $99 million and is backed by Index Ventures, Carmel Ventures, Gemini Israel Funds, GlenRock Israel, Rhodium, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and HarbourVest Partners.[9] HarbourVest Partners led Outbrain's most recent round of funding in October 2013, raising $35 million.

Acquisitions[edit]

Outbrain has acquired four companies—related content recommendation platform, Surphace (February 2011),[10] content curation platform, Scribit (December 2012),[11] and predictive analytics company, Visual Revenue (March 2013).[12] In early 2016, Outbrain acquired technology company Revee.[13][14]

Business model[edit]

Outbrain pays publishers to put its links on their sites.[15] External sites that employ the traffic acquisition service pay on a daily pay-per-click or cost-per-click basis with links to third-party content appearing as recommendations alongside editorial content from the web's biggest publishers. Approximately half of that revenue is paid to the site which presented the Outbrain link.

Brands and publishers, for example Newsmedia websites, are able to engage their audience on-site by surfacing their own editorial content that they have published in the past, displayed conspicuously as "You May Also Like..." or "We Recommend" often leading unsuspecting users into thinking of click-bait advertisements as original editorial content. These take the form of tracked links that are routed through Outbrain's servers. The Outbrain "From Around the Web" tool also provides a way for publishers to buy and sell traffic by providing third-party links to remotely relevant and unverified content.[16]

Reception[edit]

Outbrain has often been compared with competitor Taboola.[17][18] One way that Outbrain claims to distinguish itself from Taboola is that it tries to pre-filter spammy links before displaying them, whereas Taboola has a feature called Taboola Choice, where users can offer feedback on what recommendations they do not like.[19][20]

Both Outbrain and Taboola have been described by Internet commentators as alternatives to Google AdSense that content publishers could consider for revenue streams.[21][22]

In November 2012, in response to criticism of it for showing spam links, Outbrain decided to cut off showing spam links, and stated that doing so would cause it a 25% revenue cut, but that it was important for its long-term reputation with publishers and users.[23] However, there has been continued criticism of the quality of recommendations offered by Outbrain.[19]

In August 2014, an article in Fortune (magazine) noted the fierce competition between Taboola and Outbrain and both of their problems with spam recommendations and nearly all their clients promoting known scams.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ori Lahav interview on Startup Camel Podcast". Startup Camel. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Outbrain Offices". Outbrain. Retrieved May 3, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Outbrain Technology Analysis", SimilarTech
  4. ^ [comScore, March 2013.]
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ It Took Yaron Galai Four Startups to Build the One He Always Wanted to Build PandoDaily. August 16, 2012.
  7. ^ Meet the Team Outbrain
  8. ^ Outbrain Offices
  9. ^ Crunchbase. "Outbrain".
  10. ^ Marketwired. "Outbrain Acquires Surphace, Creates Market Leader for Content Discovery". 02 Feb 2011.
  11. ^ "Content-Recommender Outbrain Buys Content-Fetcher Scribit" Kafka, Peter. 11 Dec 2012.
  12. ^ "Outbrain Acquires Visual Revenue, Inc." Galai,Yaron 07 March 2013.
  13. ^ http://www.businessinsider.com/outbrain-acquires-revee-in-order-to-tell-publishers-how-much-revenue-each-individual-article-is-pulling-in-2016-3/ "Outbrain acquires Revee in order to tell publishers how much revenue each individual article is pulling in"O'Reilly, Lara. 3 Mar 2016.
  14. ^ http://www.geektime.com/2016/03/03/outbrain-outfoxes-taboola-and-buys-out-adtech-startup-revee/"Outbrain outfoxes Taboola and buys out adtech startup Revee"Reback, Gedalyah. 3 Mar 2016.
  15. ^ Cookson, Robert (January 2014). "How Outbrain Hooked Publishers on Content Marketing.". Financial Times. 
  16. ^ Roberts, Jeff John (2013-01-31). "Outbrain wants to be the Google AdWords of content recommendation: here's its plan". paidContent. Retrieved 2014-03-09. 
  17. ^ Jeff John Roberts (March 28, 2013). ""Recommended for you": the fight to decide what you read next". GigaOm. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  18. ^ Stewman, Ryan (April 3, 2016). "Outbrain vs. Taboola: What’s Different, and When To Use One Over The Other". 
  19. ^ a b "How Journalism Promotes The Internet's Shadiest Scams". Priceonomics. April 23, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  20. ^ Lawler, Ryan (September 4, 2013). "Taboola Now Lets You Filter Out Content Recommendations That You Don’t Want To See". Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  21. ^ Taub, Alexander (March 28, 2013). "How two Israeli companies are leading the pack in the AdSense for content space/". Forbes. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  22. ^ "17 Best Google AdSense Alternatives to Make Money From Your Blog". The Tecnica. April 24, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  23. ^ Jason Del Rey (November 8, 2012). "Outbrain Expects 25% Revenue Hit As It Cuts Off Spammy Content Marketers. Move Seeks to Eliminate Deceptive Headlines and Get-Rich-Quick Schemes to Improve Quality". Adage. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 

External links[edit]