Advertising on file sharing sites has always been a difficult market. Most mainstream advertisers don’t want their brands tied into illegal content, and nearly all the big ad providers prohibit their ads from being shown on such sites. The vacuum has been filled by fringe players, with advertising for porn and gambling taking the places that would usually be reserved for Adsense units or mainstream display advertising.
Brand Asset Digital aims to go where most fear to tread, with a contextual advertising network that targets search results on file sharing sites.
Brand Asset Digital’s P2Pwords allows advertisers to target promotional messages to users based on what they’re looking for on services such as Limewire and eMule. A user searches for a term like they would on a traditional search engine such as Google, and they are offered a list of results. Mixed into those results are contextually delivered adverting messages.
The LA Times interviewed the founder Joey Patuleia, who said of the market: “This is the most unleveraged, unbranded, unmarketed space in the history of the Internet.”
In a quest to reach users where ever they are, advertisers may be finally softening their stance on advertising such as this. Advertisers who have already used the service include Vitaminwater, General Motors, Dial Corp and a few dozen independent music artists. The unknown is how the movie and music industry will respond; they won’t be happy to see companies such as General Motors advertising on P2P sites, in turn helping to financially support many of these services.