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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

The NFL has an extraordinary grip on America’s media diet

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The NFL has had a banner season in terms of ratings and engagement, thanks in large part to the return of fans to stadiums, a slew of suspenseful games and of course, some off-field drama.

Why it matters: The 2021 viewership spike has quieted concerns regarding 2020's COVID-related decline, while also justifying the $100+ billion in media deals the league signed with its partners in March.

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Tesla delays Cybertruck until 2023

Tesla debuts the Cybertruck in Hawthorne, Calif., on Nov. 21, 2019. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla is at risk of falling behind on one of the most critical products in the American auto industry: pickups.

Why it matters: Pickups are the most profitable segment in the business and account for the first, second and third best-selling vehicles in the country. Without a serious pickup strategy, Tesla could miss out on a huge source of future income.

Defense taking steps to mitigate civilian harm after botched airstrikes

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on Sept. 1, 2021. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a directive Thursday to improve the U.S. military's approach to civilian harm mitigation and response, calling it a "strategic and a moral imperative."

Why it matters: The Pentagon has faced criticism for years for amassing civilian casualties in its missions, especially in the Middle East. New York Times investigations have found systemic failures in efforts to prevent civilian deaths, as well as a cover-up of a 2019 airstrike that killed dozens of women and children in Syria.

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