I’ve written about online ad “exchanges” in the past, which is one of the more interesting developments in online advertising in my opinion. There’s RightMedia, which Yahoo! owns a piece of, Root Exchange, AdECN and, now, of course DoubleClick. Check out the NY Times’ write up of the proposed DoubleClick exchange.
The online advertisement exchange will make DoubleClick more attractive to a potential acquirer because there is much demand for such a service and little supply, industry executives said. One of the few companies that runs this kind of auction, Right Media, took in $40 million last October when it sold a 20 percent stake to Yahoo.
Some argue that these emerging exchanges are about remnant inventory. But they may ultimately be central to the buying and selling of most online advertising at some future point. However, too many competing exchanges will diminsh the prospects of any one of them — efficiency, comprehensive access to inventory and scale are the desired qualities in such an exchange. That’s the difference between a true “exchange” and something that might be described as a “meta-network.”
Clearly DoubleClick is going to sell. And the cynical view is that this announcement and article are about boosting the perceived value of the company in anticipation of that sale to . . . Google, MSFT, AOL, Yahoo!? Google is now the perceived front-runner according to the WSJ.
Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm focused on online consumer and advertiser behavior and the relationship between the Internet and traditional media, with an emphasis on the local marketplace.