Dogster Does Its Own Barking

Financial Times looks at Dogster’s move from Google’s AdSense to a proprietary ad inventory managed by the brand.

“When I started I was hoping to make $500 a month from the small advertisers who were going to pay $50 a month for an ad,” says Ted Rheingold, Dogster’s founder. Today, he says, the site boasts an inventory of 10m paid ads a month.
When Dogster was getting its start, Mr Rheingold relied on Google’s AdSense programme, which paid for office space and servers during Dogster’s first year.
Text ads from Google were not a permanent solution, however. As Dogster’s audience grew, Mr Rheingold found that the returns from Google advertising were not as high as he liked. He experimented with advertising resellers, which sell banner ads across large numbers of websites, but again found that returns were lacking.
“We’ve found that the best way to get ads that are relevant to our members is to have our own inventory,” he says.
By selling its own inventory of banner ads to companies that specifically wanted to target dog and cat lovers, Dogster is able to charge $5 or more for every thousand impressions on this site.
Although this required an in-house advertising team, it was a far more lucrative proposition than the 12 cent CPMs he was getting with banner ads or the few cents a click he was getting from Google.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.