Audience Engagement New Publishing Tech
3 mins read

Q&A: Insticator, enhancing ad viewability through interactive content

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Insticator aims to increase engagement and ad revenue for publishers via interactive content. The company’s network of publisher partners, which includes, Intermarkets and Evolve Media, reaches more than 350M online consumers every month. WNIP met with Insticator’s founder, CEO Zack Dugow, to find out more…

Can you give us some background about your company?

Our company was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in New York. It’s privately owned and is ranked as the 675th fastest growing company in the U.S. (by the Inc. 5000 in 2017). The company is privately owned.

What business problem is your company addressing?

The publishing industry has always struggled with monetizing content and increasing audience engagement. These issues are only becoming more apparent because publishers are no longer just competing with other publishers; they’re competing with streaming services and tech platforms for eyeballs on their content. While audience engagement and viewership has always been an issue, publishers have continued to struggle now that they are competing with all types of content.

As these challenges continue to arise publishers have become more agile and willing to try new strategies to combat the changes in the industry. Insticator tackles these main issues of monetization and engagement to help publishers create a more engaged viewer, making audiences more likely to return and building loyalty with them. The power struggle for viewers will only rise as publishers and other content providers get smarter. Publishers are now seeing the value in partnerships and leveraging outside resources to get ahead of the competition.

What is your core product addressing this problem?

Insticator’s Embed product creates a mutually beneficial relationship between advertisers, publishers and readers, with polls and quizzes for advertisers that help engage viewers directly on a publisher’s site. Insticator helps to marry the two, ensuring that the publisher’s content is a match for the interactive ad or poll that is being placed. By doing so, Insticator is able to ensure that the content resonates with viewers, making them more likely to read more content and engage. Readers win points for engaging with content, and they can redeem them for prizes such as gift cards.  Insticator gives publishers and advertisers the opportunity to unite and provide impactful experiences for consumers through engaging and interactive content.

Can you give some examples of publishers successfully using your solutions?

Insticator works with a variety of publishers, ranging in sizes and verticals, including news, politics, sports and lifestyle. Across Insticator’s customer base, publishers using the embed have seen an increase in engagement between 40 to 60 percent. We recently helped the Washington Times generate $130,000 in revenue over eight months and increase on-site engagement by 150 percent.


Insticator operates on a revenue share with its publishing customers, based on the revenue generated for the publisher. Brands pay directly for content served by Insticator, targeting audience segments or buying audience segments through the platform. In addition, we charge market researchers on a survey complete basis.

What are other people doing in the space and why?

Many platforms in the space have established themselves by focusing on separate issues facing publishers. Some may focus primarily on monetization while others are prime for audience development. Insticator differentiates itself as a holistic platform, empowering publishers with sufficient monetization, user engagement and audience development tools they need for success. We’ve found our holistic approach to technology helps publishers including the Washington Times and Trinity Mirror.

How do you view the future?

Publishers are beginning to assert their independence and not relying on subscriptions as their only revenue stream. More publishers across the board will begin to utilize emerging technology and become more data-driven as they learn more about their audience. Audience analytics will allow publishers to make more strategic decisions when it comes to optimizing content and curating content for their strongest audiences. The publishers who are able and willing to shift gears and leverage emerging technology will position themselves for success. Publishers can start to take advantage of new mediums to distribute content, such as Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles, as well as sell their data segments to advertisers.

Thank you.