Tribal Fusion, no secret sauce, not even a special flavor

Valleyway is running a story today that Tribal Fushion will get brushed into the bin of a major media company here in the short term.

http://valleywag.com/368961/ad-network-tribal-fusion-may-sell-for-800-million-or-more

Having been both a supplier and buyer of traffic on their network, I can say that Tribal was average at best. The issue that seems to follow Tribal around is that their innovation ended a long time ago and with that any competitive advantage.

They were late to pay up front gauranteed CPMs and late to understand important performance factors in the lead gen and customer acquisition space like Ad.com did. They were also late to behavorial marketing.

In short Tribal Fusion is a valuable commodity because of single metric: the evaluation of their online ad integrations. Though more and more mid- and long-tail publisher can now interchange ad tags (there is even the Rubicon project that was spawned for this opportunity) the reality is many publishers do not have the technical manpower to do this, review metric, and run their business. They would rather stay with what is tried, true and thus “manageable.”

The metric or calculation that I am reviewing if I am a purchaser of Tribal Fusion is merely this:

– What is their month-over-month, year-over-year integration gain or loss vs. publisher by volume tier

Then…

– How does that overlap my audience in terms of reach.

Multiply this by sensitivity analysis around how much I can increase their eCPM, calculate a premium coefficient based upon their yearly revenue.

I would imagine it is or should be several orders less than the 22x that Tacoda went for….

More on ad networks next week.

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