Meebo’s Ad, Content-Sharing Bar To Run On Nielsen Business Sites

IM and content-sharing platform Meebo has signed an ad-sharing deal with Nielsen Business Media, that will place its Meebo Bar on sites like THR.com. The bar lets users comment on content, and share links and photos with friends without leaving a publisher’s site; ads show up on the bottom left corner of the bar, and Meebo splits the revenue with the publisher. The partnership goes live tonight on THR.com; it will roll out on BackStage, MediaWeek, BrandWeek and AdWeek “in the coming months.”
Meebo’s ad and content-sharing platform is currently running on over 200 sites, including TechCrunch, Mashable, and CrispyGamer, but partnering with a business trade brand like Nielsen boosts the company’s credibility. Meebo spent this year upgrading its platform, embedding features like real-time status updates to Facebook and Twitter. CEO Seth Sternberg said the pitch to publishers is that it increases the amount of time spent on their sites, in addition to offering a cut of its ad revenues.
For advertisers, the pitch is that Meebo can deliver them a targeted audience. The company says it serves demographic and behaviorally-targeted ads (reaching males aged 18-24 that have shown intent to purchase an auto in the past 60 days, for example); it can also target site visitors that are signed into their Meebo accounts more precisely. It’s a unique take on engagement — which sites like CBS and members of the OPA have tried to increase by making their ads bigger, flashier and more intrusive.
Meebo was founded in 2005, but the company first launched its ad platform last September. Sternberg said average RFPs coming in then were around $50,000; they jumped to $100,000 per campaign by December. He wouldn’t disclose whether the company was profitable, but did say that revenue grew 40 percent in Q3. Mountain View-based Meebo is backed by $37.5 million in funding from Time Warner (NYSE: TWX), JAFCO, KTB Ventures, Sequoia Capital and DFJ.