Cannes Lions Interview: Ben Barokas, Co-Founder And CEO, Sourcepoint

Cannes Lions Interview: Ben Barokas, Co-Founder And CEO, Sourcepoint 730 486 C-Suite Network
Ben Barokis, Founder and CEO, Sourcepoint
Ben Barokis, Founder and CEO, Sourcepoint

On the occasion of the 2017 Cannes Lions, I spoke with serial entrepreneur Ben Barokas about the state of digital publishing and his journey to founding Sourcepoint.

“The reason I started Sourcepoint, and why I’m so focused on the publisher, is that I believe that there needs to be additional transparency. If the user wants to pay for content by consuming advertising and providing data, or if the user wants to be able to pay directly for that content in a micro–transaction, the user should be able to do that. And we should make it as frictionless as possible in order to make that happen,” says Sourcepoint Co-Founder and CEO, Ben Barokas.

His company Sourcepoint provides the software, tools, and data to enable digital publishers to monetize their audiences through a variety of content compensation (payment or free) options. Founded in 2015, the New York City based company works with publishers such as AOL, Advanced Digital, Dennis, and Gruner and Jahr, to help them deal with what the firm refers to as “existential” threats from ad-blockers, ad fraud, and the struggle many, if not most, publishers face in adequately monetizing their content. The firm is backed by $26 million in venture funding from Accel, Foundry Group, Greycroft Partners, Northzone, and Spark Capital.

“This all started with AOL. I trafficked lots and lots of banners.” Says Barokas, who began a career in the digital advertising business as an ad trafficker for the pioneering online service 17 years ago. He eventually worked his way up to running the ad inventory management team and was responsible for ad product development up through to the merger and integration with Time Warner, and later what he termed the “disintegration” of the company.

“AOL Time Warner provided me with such incredible experience on what it takes to run a business like that at scale. While running advertising products, I had a number of interactions with Brian Adams, who later became my co–founder of my previous business, Admeld,” says Barokas.

He would leave AOL Time Warner to work for a start-up…