Turn Network – Future of CPA Networks?

turnlogo.jpgTechcrunch features the new Turn CPA network, which is launching with 18 million in venture capital. What is interesting about the new network is its approach on CPA and a growing trend “up the food chain” of utilizing CPA but doing so in a more automated fashion (think BrightRoll or RightMedia).

One thousand advertisers are said to be participating along with 30 publishers. That seems like a small number compared to traditional CPA Networks (smaller networks having in the hundreds of publishers up to the larger networks with many thousands), but the platform needs quality, not quantity, and doesn’t have time to educate or steer webmasters and mom-and-pop affiliates.

Marketing through CPA networks farther down the chain involves working with publishers and affiliates in a dynamic based on relationships. Affiliate marketing teeters on the edge of long term sustainability by a few entrenched and well deserving sites or being subsumed by the contextualization of advertising on the web, turning affiliate marketing into something like an automated widget.

This transformation is already occuring within the realized limitability of affiliate marketing to scale effectively. Hence, new platforms like Turn are looking for a work around…

Buying ads in the Turn Network doesn’t require keyword selection and management. Instead, buyers identify actions they want their audience members to take and how much they would be willing to pay per time those actions are taken. That action might be a site visit, email sign-up or completed transaction.

When visitors come to a site, data about those users, contextual analysis of the site, of the ads and of every ad permutation’s success in that and related sites are all considered in determining each ad’s probability of success. That probability of conversion is then considered relative to the price being paid on a CPA bases. The CPA bid divided by the probability of the action being takes equals an ad’s effective revenue per thousand impressions. And thus an ad is served!

What is at stake is a ten year history (and some would say promise) of performance marketing on a more individual and even democratic level. Continued automation of the space at the higher levels doesn’t bode well for the plethora of CPA networks paying for booths and parties at this year’s ad:tech NYC right now.

How will this affect CJ or Linkshare or Azoogle or AdDrive or VendareNetBlue in the near or long term future?

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