IAB Extends Membership Benefits to Small Publishers

According to an IAB announcement dating back in June 9 (yes, I wasn’t too quick to pick on this), they are ready to open a new class of membership to fit the small publishers and help them prevent adverse state and Federal regulation that could hinder their ability to sell or carry advertising.

“Campaigns have been launched at both the Federal and state levels to seek government regulation of many of the core processes and technologies that support interactive advertising, and the potential impact on small publishers can’t be underestimated,” said Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of IAB.

The move comes in response to possible federal US laws that may severely constrain third party online advertising. Small publishers would be the first to take the hit since they heavily rely on ad networks and have little to no direct selling power.

The IAB Small Publisher Membership plan costs only US$ 500 a year and is open to publishers with advertising revenue figures of under US$ 1 million.

Benefits include:
• Discounts for IAB events
• Training programs and webinars designed exclusively for small publishers
• Access to IAB networking events in the US
• Business insurance and protection programs
• Membership in IAB’s new Small Publisher Committee;
• Representation by the IAB in Washington on industry-related public policy issues.

While IAB’s take on the issue of 3rd party ads and ad networks is laudable (debatable, of course), I doubt this initiative will really have an impact on making the small publishers’ voices heard. Sure, the IAB will be able to issue all sort of studies and recommendations from their newly formed Small Publishers Committee and raise awareness on the realities of how smaller sites are being monetized – but will this be enough to counteract the extremely strong lobby of the giant publishers?