DigitalScirocco Rolls Out of Stealth, Creates New Marketplace for Web Content

3/22/10Follow @gthuang

Bruce D’Ambrosio wants to change the way content and services are distributed on the Web—and how people make money from them. His new startup, Seattle-based DigitalScirocco, is emerging from pseudo-stealth mode today at the semi-annual DEMO conference in Palm Desert, CA. The company’s service has been live for a couple of months, but has been kept pretty quiet.

It’s a big vision, and here’s how it works. Right now, if you’re a publisher or website owner and you want to post outside content on your site—an article, photo, or song, say—you have to go to a source like Getty Images, or a media organization, and either buy the content manually, arrange to pay them through a business development process, or agree on some other deal. DigitalScirocco has set up an automated marketplace for connecting these website owners with content owners. Through an online auction process, websites can pay for the kinds of content they want—and discover the kinds of prices they want—while DigitalScirocco gets a piece of each sale.

A dress designer, for example, might want to automatically post some relevant articles from Vogue on its site to make it stickier and help drive traffic. The idea is that DigitalScirocco would help the designer get a good price on fresh content, and also would help Vogue make more money from its articles—all by connecting Web publishers with content owners in a new way.

“The issue right now is, those connections are broken, in part because everyone has lost their way in the illusions that [website] locations are content and monetization is about advertising,” says D’Ambrosio, the company’s founder and CEO.

He stresses that DigitalScirocco is not directly interested in the advertising part of the equation. It’s not an ad network. Rather, the company is trying to help enhance websites so they can give consumers a better experience, while helping content producers—media organizations, entertainment sites, finance sites—make more money. From a consumer’s point of view, it’s an alternative to … Next Page »

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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