The Washington Post announced the launch of Zeus Prime, an ad network for brands and publishers. Jarrod Dicker, VP of Commercial Technology and Development at The Washington Post, said they created Zeus Prime because the
industry demands a revenue performance platform that rewards original storytelling while providing an instant and transparent exchange of value between brands, publishers, and their readers.
The ad network is positioned as a better alternative to existing ad platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads. They claim that brands will benefit from better scaling, targeting, and performance, while publishers will be able to deliver user-friendly ad experiences and 1st-party targeting. The ad network also utilizes Zeus Insights, which provides a secure, cookie-free ad experience.
Zeus Prime has Amazon’s DNA
Zeus Prime feels a lot like Amazon. The Washington Post will be providing a service to businesses it competes with, use the same Prime moniker as Amazon Prime, and enable advertisers to create an ad format with 1-click.
Through Zeus Prime, buyers will be able to easily execute an ad campaign by creating an ad format in a single click and targeting across a marketplace of trusted publishers.
Amazon was partly successful because it created an efficient and frictionless way to get what consumers needed quickly. Then they opened up their platform to competing stores via their Marketplace. The decision created an immediate conflict of interest, and Amazon has since been accused of predatory practices against their sellers.
Launching Zeus Prime as a product of The Washington Post also creates an instant conflict of interest. It will be interesting to see what safeguards are put in place (if any), and if competitors will be willing to risk sharing their ad data with Amazon The Washington Post.