ITV.com Turning Content In To Ads In Search For Web Income

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When we revealed last month ITV.com was adding Google (NSDQ: GOOG) AdSense to its search pages in a bid to monetise more corners of its website, we also noted it would tap Vibrant Media’s Intellitext in-line ads technology, too. Now the broadcaster is going ahead and will formally announce the hook-up tomorrow. The technology will parse ITV.com articles for hot words, turning them in to text ad links – those pesky double-underlined ones that also come with popup rollovers. It will be rolled out to sites including ITV.com, Friends Reunited and ITV-F1.com, which will continue to be updated despite F1 rights now moving to the BBC. Some ads will be video. ITV (LSE: ITV) will also use the technology to offer automatic links to related pages on its own site.

ITV.com now gets 9.4 million monthly uniques, according to internal November stats (four million, according to *comScore*, Sep 08), after growing since a 2007 redesign. But the troubled broadcaster was in August forced to delay by two years a very optimistic target of making £150 million annually from online and consumer COO Jeff Henry paid the price, leaving in a restructure last month that united online with TV ops. The adoption of Google and Vibrant show ITV.com monetising ad spaces that perhaps seem obvious, but spaces that many high-trafficked publishers overlook. ITV online revenue head Gary Cole: “It enables us to deliver ads that are relevant to our users when they want to see them. Through in-text ads, we are able expand our ad real estate whilst ensuring a better user experience across our network.

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