Death of the Ad Network?
Add The New York Times Co., Hearst, Tribune and Gannett to the list of big publishers looking to push ad networks to the fringe. Over the weekend, these companies announced they will eschew the big ad networks and instead rely on their own, private system to serve targeted online advertising. The hope, of course, is to ultimately drive up ad rates. This announcement comes right after CBS Interactive, Forbes and Weather.com announced a similar private network.
It is believed that these companies and their respective online properties will be able to better serve their advertisers and save a step in the process. Instead of advertisers bidding on ad space based on targeted parameters - regardless of the website on which the ads will appear - the same can now be done but with respect for the individual website or even down to the article level. This also gives the publishers much more control over the advertisers' data.
It's interesting to note that this announcement comes on the heels of Google's latest algorithm update, dubbed "Farmer", which seeks to downgrade low-quality websites in search results. The focus, then, is on quality content - something The New York Times and the others can all but guarantee to prospective advertisers. Ad networks have a much more difficult time making such promises.