Outbrain has announced on February 14, 2018, the launch of a new product, called Sphere – a premium, exclusive, publisher-to-publisher (and only publisher) content recommendation and audience network.

“Sphere is a big new chapter for us, but in a way it is also a shift back to our roots of why we started Outbrain to begin with (and in the process, pioneered the entire content recommendations market). It’s no surprise that our product team code-named the product ‘Back to the Future,’” said the announcement. 

According to the press release, by using Sphere, publishers “give their users a superior news feed with the best editorial content from the best publishers in the world.” 

The company also introduced the business model powering Sphere announcing several innovations — that of “Universal CPC” and that for “100% Revenue-Share.” On the first, it explained: “One of the factors that has caused so much of what we see on publishers to be so interruptive for the user is the fact that advertisers who pay more can get more exposure. Yet no user has ever engaged more with content because they found the price (CPC or CPM) to be so great. As Sphere optimizes for user engagement above all else, we wanted to make sure that price is not a factor in determining what the user sees. Therefore, we’re introducing a new pricing model, a Universal CPC of USD 0.015 for all partners in the Sphere network.” On the second, the announcement explained: “CPC platforms are generally great for users, as we only make money if the users got enough value to garner a click. However, there is a downside – by optimizing for clicks (CTR), short-term clickbait can win over long-term user value and engagement. With Sphere, we’re changing the model. Our founding publishing partners will be getting 100% of the revenue on the clicks leaving their sites. We make USD 0 on those clicks. Outbrain will only get compensated for longer/deeper user engagement with additional articles or videos on the publisher receiving the users.”

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