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Summary:

Taboola, a video recommendation engine that’s used by sites like CNN and Bloomberg, raised $15 million, bringing its total funding to $35 million.

Bloomberg4

Taboola, a video recommendation engine that’s used by sites like CNN and Bloomberg, has raised $15 million in its fourth funding round, bringing the company’s total funding to $40 million. The round was led by Israeli VC firm Pitango and included participation from previous investors Evergreen Venture Partners, WGI Group and Marker. Marker had previously led a $10 million funding round six months ago. Taboola is headquartered in New York but has a data center in Israel.

Taboola founder and CEO Adam Singolda said the company will use the funds to fuel growth and expand internationally. Taboola now works with 1,000 sites, and the company claims it serves over 1.5 billion recommendations a day and that 200 million people see Taboola recommendations every month. 70 percent of that traffic comes from the U.S.

  1. Taboola seems to have copied outbrain’s revenue and distribution model. About 2 months ago Outbrain came out and said it would NO longer allow “advertisers” to disguise ads as content in outbrain widgets… Unfortunately Taboola cannot afford to be as discerning as they struggle to find a revenue model. Taboola units now feature mostly ads disguised as content but the widgets are not marked as “advertising”. The FTC will surely go after them and publishers who collaborate with them.

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  2. Peter Hildenbran Wednesday, February 20, 2013

    I think the bigger issue to me as a publisher is that the CTR on these content units is like 5% which means that for every page I add this widget to, 5% of my audience leave to go to a competing publisher site to satiate their need for content there and not on my site. And I’m going to do this for a $2 CPM? Really? I would rather place an advertisement in that spot which has a third of a percent click through but gets me a $4 CPM and only have 1/20th of my users leave and go to NON-competitive advertisers. I’m not sure where all the critical thinking has gone lately. Some serious publishers like the NY Times have already tried adding these units with external links to competitive publishers and they have long since removed these units. I guess every pub needs to test for themselves to see the flaw in this thinking. In terms of the internal content recommendation I agree that publishers should cross promote their own content…just dont drive your users to other publishers.

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  3. I think publishers are getting hip to Taboola and Outbrain in terms of the true costs of earning their $1.00 and $2 CPMs. You have to drive a large chunk of your best users off your site to competing publishers and its very costly to the sites page views per user. Look at it this way, if a publisher is willing to pay 7 cents to drive your users off your site and to theirs, its already a bad deal for you….whats worse is that you dont get 7 cents, you get 4. We need advertising dollars coming in to support the publisher eco system. All the content recommendation engines do is shuffle money from one pub to the other with Taboola/Outbrain taking their piece. I don’t think people understood this until now.

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  4. Digital Reality Monday, April 8, 2013

    I think the bloom is off the rose for Taboola – http://contextly.com/blog/2013/03/suggested-content/

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  5. Content Monetizer Friday, April 12, 2013

    The problem with Taboola and Outbrain is fundamental. For marketing your site its a decent value proposition but for monetizing the spot below your article its a terrible bargain. Here’s why. As a publisher you are willing to pay ,6 cents to get a user to your site right? But when you add that widget below your articles you don’t get .6 cents to drive them away, you get more like .4 cents (after Taboola/Outbrain take rev share). So you are buying high and selling low. Publishers like NY times figured that out very early on, the others are slowly coming around. And still other pubs will just never get it.

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