AudienceME, a digital media sales firm, has launched the first brand advertising platform to service the MENA region, bringing quality global publishing inventory together with regional advertisers eager for high-quality advertising environments.
Starting August, AudienceME will represent ad space on quality international sites to advertisers in the Middle East, where ad spending is growing at a phenomenal rate. Driven by younger populations, increasing disposable incomes and higher consumption patterns, the region’s overall advertising spend increased by more than 24% in 2010 according to the Pan Arab Research Center — four times greater than the North American market.
“The explosion of social media among the younger demographic in the Middle East has really blown open the doors for all digital media in the region,” said Kumar Verma, founder and CEO of AudienceME. “Publishers are looking to find ways to effectively monetize page views and their audiences from around the world. We are stepping in to help market that inventory to regional advertisers who are eager for quality environments.
AudienceME specifically targets the GCC countries — UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait – as well as Egypt and Lebanon. The brand platform has already signed on several international publishers across different verticals, including foreignpolicy.com, perfectescapes.com and tennis.com.
Darren Kelly, chief revenue officer at Photobucket.com, said: “We are excited about the AudienceME opportunity and how it can help us leverage our sizeable and socially active audience in that market. It is a great opportunity for us to tap into the growing brand dollars that exist in the region.”
AudienceME’s Verma added: “Online advertising has seen extremely strong growth in the MENA region and there is a pent-up demand for premium publishing environments. AudienceME will bring our relationships with publishers in the US together with those brands in the Middle East to help both sides accomplish their marketing and sales goals.”
The team behind AudienceME brings extensive experience and expertise in the US and the UAE, where the company will focus its initial efforts. Prior to launching AudienceME, Verma has been President and CEO of digitalroot, an online advertising services company with clients in the US, India and the Middle East. Advisory board members include Upendra Shardanand, CEO of content platform Daylife, as well as Adrienne Skinner, CRO of the ad platform Image Space Media and founder of Winstar Interactive, one of the first US firms to specialize in representing premium content sites.