Dec 21, 2021 - Economy

Exclusive: Taboola teams with Microsoft to launch audience network

Photo by Joshua Sammer/Getty Images for Taboola

Taboola, a content recommendation company, is launching an audience network for advertisers looking to place native ads on the open web.

Why it matters: Firms like Facebook, Amazon, Google and Spotify launched audience networks to extend their advertising reach across areas where they're dominant, like social, commerce, search and audio. Taboola's building an audience network that reaches people outside those big platforms.

  • "We're basically going to extend our advertisers' reach beyond our publishers to many different places, search engines, social networks, display, whatever we think we can find value for them," said Adam Singolda, Taboola founder and CEO. "It's similar to what Amazon, Google and Facebook have done in the past."

Details: Taboola is teaming with Microsoft to design a real-time service that allows advertisers to bid for ad inventory across many places on the open web — content that's accessible via any web browser, easily linked to and doesn't require logging into an account.

  • The two companies have historically had a revenue share agreement, which will continue with this partnership. Their new deal lasts through 2024.
  • "This is going to be a growth driver for both of us," said Singolda. "They've advised us and supported us in the design of this to make it successful on Microsoft and elsewhere."
  • Taboola has direct relationships with more than 14,000 advertisers and 9,000 publishers that it will leverage to grow the audience network. Singolda said the company has been working on the new service for more than three years.

The big picture: Taboola went public in June via SPAC at a $2.6 billion valuation. The company raised approximately $545 million to fuel investments in growth areas on the open web, like powering content recommendations on more smart devices.

  • Earlier this year, Taboola acquired an open web e-commerce company called Connexity that it will use to fuel the new audience network.
  • The company has reaffirmed guidance for its 2021 and 2022 revenue goals. It's expecting to bring in roughly $1.4 billion in revenue this year.

The bottom line: Media, tech and advertising companies are starting to pay more attention to opportunities on the open web, even as apps like Google and Facebook continue to dominate online distribution and digital ads.

Go deeper