Well, in the week since Google bought DoubleClick, Yahoo felt that it had to make some sort of move in the online advertising space to try to keep up. Ever since they got beat out for the YouTube deal (which, in retrospect, may be one of the biggest illustrations of the old Hollywood adage that “Sometimes the best deal is the one that you don’t
make.”), Yahoo has been desperate to demonstrate to the Wall St. analysts that they are not irrelevant and on the way out.
Thus, Yahoo crowbarred the wallet out of Terry Semel’s pants and plunked down $680 million for Right Media, an online advertising outfit. The geeks over at Advertising Age seem to think that this may be a smarter move than Google’s buy-up of DoubleClick, due to the increasing popularity of ad exchanges.
I’m not sure that I agree with that. While there is a lot of money to be made in the old “I give you $200 worth of ad space on my site, you give me $200 of ad space on your site, and we both report to our investors that we made a couple hundred bucks” boogie, I think that the online ad market is growing fast enough so as to make the ad exchange business only a sideline. When I see all the graphs, trends and moves being made by the panicked ad execs, I begin to believe that the webvertising market might actually have enough cash flowing into it to support ad-only sites.
The dream has been one long in coming, but watching the torrent of articles coming out in the last couple of months that are being accepted as conventional wisdom by creative execs (and thus accepted as holy writ by the executive suites full of empty suits and nodding heads) that say that the only future for advertising is online, makes me start to believe again. More and more people are starting to accept that “You have to go where the eyeballs are, and the 14-34 year olds just aren’t watching TV the way they used to.” All the reams of paper being written about audience fragmentation, to me just says that there is a fatass business opportunity out there waiting to be made to be the aggregator of eyeballs. That is, if all the connected Gen-Y & Z punks are reading blogs, watching streaming vid and pimping out their Facebook pages, then the outlet that manages to see 1,000 ad sites for $1000 apiece will quickly push out the old-school ad agency that tries to sell 1 TV commercial for a million bucks.
Anyway, check out the article on Right Media, since the quotes are quite revealing.