Boing Boing is the Web’s favorite site devoted to technology, entertainment, and culture. Launched in 1989 as a print ‘zine and still independent more than 25 years later, Boing Boing publishes a daily mix of short articles, long features, original videos, and podcasts shared globally by a loyal audience of tech and lifestyle influencers online.

In a public speech to the prestigious Gridiron Club journalism organization, President Barack Obama commented that he checks Boing Boing daily. The site has been a clue on Jeopardy! twice. Widely regarded as an internet mainstay, Boing Boing has won two Webby Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bloggies. Time magazine named Boing Boing among the world’s “Best Websites” in multiple years, Fast Company has called it “one of the most popular blogs on the planet,” and the New Yorker said it is “read by geeks the world over.”

The Brief

Boing Boing has been monetizing their website for the last 20 years. With the changes occurring in the industry, they knew they had to move towards monetizing their website programmatically. Direct sales was not as popular as it previously was and not something that could be easily scaled. They needed a monetization solution that had the demand partners and technology to successfully execute programmatic advertising and maximize ad revenue.

For Boing Boing, Freestar was looking to create a programmatic revenue stream that would include:

  • New Ad Products – Our proprietary algorithms, extensive ad products, access to unique demand partners and viewability tools allows them to get the most out of each impression.
  • Premium Demand Partners – We have relationships with over 30 advertising partners and our own server-to-server demand ensures top advertising partners are bidding on their inventory.
  • Industry Expertise – With Freestar, they have a reliable partner that adapts to industry changes and is ready to address any risks or issues.

"[Freestar] has been a fantastic choice for us. Having been with similar solutions, Freestar does ad monetization in a way that a publisher would like it to be. In general, publishers have not been treated like partners and we have found that even with the most publisher-centric of partners, they have treated us like a commodity. They need inventory and we’re the source of it. With Freestar, it’s completely different. We have a very good partnership where we try to balance quality, placement and revenue to a mix that works for our company."

Jason Weisberger


The Approach

After a recommendation to meet with Freestar, Boing Boing decided to move forward with our web ad monetization solution. The implementation process was a smooth transition from testing on their staging site to launching on their live site. There were no surprises for Boing Boing as Freestar provided detailed forecasting on what they should expect their revenue to be.

Web monetization has been extremely successful for Boing Boing. The most impactful change that has really made a difference for Boing Boing was the implementation of AMP in the last 12 months. To maximize AMP for Boing Boing, Freestar implemented:

  • Key Ad Units – Freestar added key ad units like standard ad unit, sticky footer, and flying carpet across Boing Boing’s AMP.
  • Flooring Optimization –Our Freestar Customer Success team formulated and implemented a new flooring strategy to maximize yield while balancing revenue, CPMs, and user experience.


The Results

Boing Boing immediately saw results after implementing our AMP solution. In the first month, Boing Boing saw a 69% revenue increase and a 46% increase in CPMs across their ad performance. AMP performance has seen steady growth aside from the expected seasonality throughout the year. In the last 12 months, Boing Boing saw a 362% increase in AMP revenue and 46% increase in CPMs for AMP ad units. This year, AMP accounts for approximately 25% of Boing Boing’s overall ad revenue.

 Boing Boing continues to work closely with their Freestar Customer Success team to strategize new ways to increase yield. Boing Boing shares that their partnership with Freestar is “a relationship that you want to have with your ad server provider.” Freestar focuses on being Publisher First and our team is available when Boing Boing needs us. 

Boing Boing - Revenue by Ad Format

Boing Boing - AMP Revenue by Month