Web start-up AdBrite will be offering a new auction system for online brand advertising in a bid to steal some of the market from bigger players.

The new auction system, AdBrite 2.0, will see the company selling advertising space across its network of 28,000 sites to the highest bidder, while allowing smaller advertisers and websites to get into the display ad market.

AdBrite’s system matches big brand advertisers with niche websites, allowing effective targeting of advertising. AdBrite yesterday served ads on 435,679,485 pageviews, from 26,637 sites.

AdBrite is the brainchild of Philip Kaplan, who founded the company in 2002. Kaplan of course was the legendary publisher of FuckedCompany, which chronicled the fallout from the dotcom crash. 

The company has so far raised around $12m from venture firm Sequoia Capital. It is expected to bring in around $20m in revenue this year.

Its automated ad network allows advertisers to bid on a per-impression basis for ads that can be targeted by a range of criteria, including keywords, geography, demographics, and content type.

The ad formats are limited to text and banners at the moment, but video and mobile advertising will be added in the future.

While the vast majority of internet ad spending goes to the top 50 websites,
AdBrite’s format allows advertisers to tap into smaller sites and blogs they might otherwise overlook, at a fraction of the cost of other ad networks.

All well and good, but since some of the other ad networks pay out as little as 50 cents per 1,000 page impressions, so this might not lead to a windfall for bloggers and other publishers taking part in the scheme.

E-consultancy will publish a UK-focused report on Online Advertising Networks in the next week or two.