Zergnet is launching what it calls a ‘Content-Only Monetization Platform’. Zergnet is a higher-quality alternative for content recommendation widgets like Taboola and Outbrain. Reggie Renner CEO of Zergnet is hoping that this launch will make zergnet a bigger source of revenue for publishers.
Growing traffic was the selling point for the company to publishers before this launch, they’d include links to other sites in the ZergNet network, then get readers back in return. Renners is planning to convince publishers to give-up those lower quality widget entirely but this could only happen if he can demonstrate Zergnet as a much bigger source of income.
Although this will mean adding sponsored link to Zergnet recommendation Renner said, “We wanted to keep true to who we were as a business.” Specifically, he said publishers can pay to promote their stories, but they have to be real content: “We still do not allow any ads.”
The sponsored links will go through the same quality control process as the other links in the network by a human editor. A quick look at the company’s website will tell you that it is not the highbrow in-depth journalism that get highlighted but the process is more focused on keeping the contents in line with the topic. So when you see ZergNet recommendations on gaming site IGN, they should all go to stories that are relevant to a gaming audience.
Although Company is only announcing the platform now Renner said it is already up and is making money for publishers.
The company said it works with more than 2,000 publishers, including AOL Time Inc., CBS and News Corp.