Customer Spotlight: Automated Insights
In this weeks spotlight we look at a Durham, NC company that generates content for over 800 team based websites (NBA, NFL, NCAA, etc). While this is a challenge, it’s also an advantage if you can categorize and leverage all that content for targeting. Using Adzerk’s keyword targeting they are able to easily pass in team names, divisions, leagues, and much more. Automated Insights is a fast growing company run by some very smart people. We were lucky to get time with Adam Smith and pick his brain about their approach to online advertising.
In 2007 Robbie Allen founded Statsheet. He was still at Cisco and was working on it as a hobby in his spare time. He wanted to democratize sports stats on the web and utilize technology to do cutting edge work with statistics. As part of that focus, we started automating headlines and Tweets for college basketball with a “stat of the day” format. In building that capability, we discovered that if we could automate headlines, charts and Tweets, then we could automate full-length narrative articles based on boxscores. And if we could automate full-length articles on box scores, then we could develop software to automate content on any topic with a lot of structured data (e.g. Weather, Real estate, Finance, etc). As a result of this epiphany, we launched Automated Insights and raised our A round to bring real-time high-quality content to a variety of verticals. StatSheet.com remains the hub of our sports network, which includes over 400 fully-automated team-based websites, 450+ mobile applications and 1900+ Twitter accounts covering every team in the NFL, NBA, MLB and Division 1 College basketball and football.
We believe Automated Insights, Inc. (AI) represents the next revolution in content creation. The company’s technology transforms vast amounts of raw data into compelling narrative content and powerful visualizations. The content is written entirely by software and can be published in any format, including headlines, summaries and, most impressively, long-form articles and stories. In addition, the content can be published cost-effectively at just about any scale via the web, mobile applications, and all types of social media (including Facebook and Twitter). In essence, the company uses technology to humanize big data, and automate knowledge and insight at scale.
What’s your biggest challenge with online advertising?
We have over 1.5 million pages of content on StatSheet.com alone and even more when you factor in our 800 team-based web sites and mobile apps. With that much content, it can be difficult to target specific pages for individual advertisers, but it is something that Adzerk has helped us do. With Adzerk we can pass in any number of keywords on a request to describe the page and use those keywords for targeting and reporting.
How do you find advertisers? Any tips or tricks?
We let the content and team-based approach help us. With sites, mobile apps and Twitter accounts for every team, we are able to offer hyper-local content to advertisers whether they are local or a national brand targeting a certain area or fan. Knowing your audience’s interests, location and loyalty goes a long way to helping advertisers make effective targeted choices. We also leverage the uniqueness of our content and its inherent interactivity.
Most effective network or remnant inventory monetization?
We use a mix of sport focused vertical networks (like USA Today Sports Media Group) and Adsense. Since Statsheet is very sports focused the premium sports networks do very well on our web properties. Our mobile apps also make up a big percentage of our traffic and we’ve found Google Adsense to monetize very well there.
Why did you choose adOS?
We see James and his team as thought-leaders in the space with a technology flexible enough to handle all of our properties. Their level of service is also key.