Wikia uses LookSmart’s AdCenter for ad management

Wikia Inc., a provider of community resources for building and organizing free information, has licensed ad-serving platform AdCenter from LookSmart, an online advertising and technology company.

A collection of freely hosted, ad-supported Wiki communities, Wikia serves hundreds of millions of banners each month on an expanding list of topics, including entertainment, movies, sports, gaming and technology.

“Wikia was an important win for us,” said David Hills, president/CEO of LookSmart. “It puts us in the display ad business, which we’ve not been with the AdCenter. Now we’re in the business of hundreds of millions of ad impressions a month.”

Wikia will use the AdCenter to grow and manage both display and text-based advertisers. Wikia is the first implementation of the company’s ad technology for managing and serving display ad units that use cost-per-thousand (CPM) pricing.

The LookSmart service comprises a full-service ad-serving and yield-optimization platform that handles all forms of ad units and payment types.

“Working with Wikia also gives validation to our approach with the AdCenter platform, which is to allow publishers to have total control, to use whatever backfill they want – it’s a completely private-label application that we host,” Hills explained. “They control pricing, control terms, look-and-feel. We’re simply the plumbing that runs underneath it.”

Wikia will also become part of LookSmart’s distributed ad network, which provides backfill for its partners to augment their own ad sales efforts. In addition, LookSmart will be providing search technology assets to Wikia.

Hills said LookSmart is underpinned by two key assumptions. First, he thinks as audience fragments advertisers are going to buy deeper into any medium and, as that happens, publishers are going to want to have more control over advertiser relationships.

“Advertisers will still maintain their relationships Google and Yahoo and folks like us as backfill, but they’ll take a more front-and-center approach,” Hills said.

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