9 Responses to “What The Rise Of Demand-Side Ad Networks Means For Publishers”

  1. Josh McFarland

    TV continues to get the majority of brand spending dollars because it is easy to buy, the end result is pleasing to clients, and it really does move the needle. All of these characteristics will come to pass for online advertising as well; demand side platforms start by facilitating the ease of buying.

    However, it's futile to argue against online advertising's fate of being held to a different, higher standard. Impression-level efficacy will be measured because it can be. RIP, GRP.

  2. Given the fierce ad network competition on the sell side of the equation what is the likelihood of cooperation b/w exchanges on the nascent demand side?

    Seems like demand side players must cooperate otherwise everything gets balkanized, no? Meaning without cooperation, the the value of the demand side player is a calculation of the quality of their set of agencies. The demand players with the more complete set coupled with the broadest publisher relationships will win.

  3. The article is so much wishful thinking of the sort that brought on the dot com bubble. Neutrality means the end of sponsorship. It means the end of the sponsorship society and 700 B per year spent on placebo driven pharma and health insurance.

    Its laughable watching MS think it can do an ad driven Office 10. Do we really think the Net Zero approach or the AOL approach is now suddenly meaningful? Every ad meets an ad block, or it thought of as spam or telemarketing. At this rate even bill boards won't survive.

    There is this misnomer that the cloud brings back dead one way modal media. Its as if the Newspaper would spring back to life. What people find in the web and the net is disintermediation, that's really communication. Its empowerment that they find. Advertising, broadcasting and publishing are going away. Content is being absolutely commoditized, a perfect buyers market is emmerging and all power of placment and pricing is lost.

    Subscription will completely replace sponsorship as it pits content against ads. There will be no way to limit the amount of competition or redundancy. Cloud plus neutrality also massively raises the privacy wall.

    At the end of some user initiated product search there may be some room for product education, but more and more companies will just seed markets by giving poduct away. Demand creation is gone, but it wasn't leading to the kind of purchase decisions that set the buyer up be a repeat customer.

    And after all its a good thing because sponsorship was at its base raw misrepresentation, a kind of supression and drowining out. The talent in the ad industry could be better put to use in education.

  4. Zach Coelius (Triggit)

    Great post. One of the most concise explanations of the industry written yet. My bet is that we will see all three. Real Time Bidding and the exchanges serve as a platform that will enable all manner of companies to serve very different marketer needs. Guys like Andy and Brand.net will build tools for the brand marketers, other companies will build tools for the DR folks, and the agencies will build platforms to manage their client's spend.

  5. andy atherton

    Another truly insightful article Michael.

    Echoing Dan Ballister's comment though, the key to Scenario 3 is the emergence of capabilities that aren’t widely available today.

    In order for Brand marketers to fully leverage the emerging exchange ecosystem they will need sophisticated technology for page-level quality filtering, pricing & delivery prediction, R/F & composition management, delivery smoothing, offline impact measurement, etc.

    In case it’s not obvious to all, that’s a very different toolset than the fine targeting and CPA-driven optimization engines of which the market has produced scores of copies thus far – on both the demand side and the supply side.

  6. Dan Ballister

    Great article. If buyers are going after audience in real-time auctions, will they make peace with having to forfeit control over ad environment and delivery predictability? What good is it to reach your audience when they don't want to be found, or to only run 15% of your back-to-school campaign on time because you kept getting outbid?

    Someone please tell me we are not headed down a path of the web being nothing more than one big automated DR machine. If we do, you can kiss quality free content goodbye, and we won't need agencies or sales reps. The machines will run everything.

    OK–I need some decaf…

  7. Chad Randall

    Very interesting perspective. I believe the opposite is going to happen and publishers are going to regain control over their own advertising space selling directly, which means that agencies will have no choice but to deal with even more end sellers. But I do agree that Ad networks have been taking way too big of a slice of that pie for way too long…


  8. Ellie Johnston

    Yes, there is still a hardy gap between online squeekers and traditional media planners. Brands are standing at the door 20,000 feet up but still don't believe the parachute will open.

    I especially appreciate this line in your article, "At long last, audience truly becomes the basis for both planning and buying online. "

    It's the audience stupid.