Big news by Google. After announcing the DoubleClick acquisition (~ 60% of the display ad market), Google announced the launch of Ad Manager, a free ad management tool with built in yield optimization. Ad Manager allows you to sell direct ads, and then backfill with AdSense and/or any other ad networks you choose. Huge for Google for 5 reasons:
- minimizes the value and risk of competition from larger ad exchanges like Right Media, smaller start ups like the Rubicon project, and open source ad networks like OpenAds
- gives them yet another way to follow web users across the web to create a proprietary web graph based on usage data (along with Google Analytics, Feedburner, RSS Reader, iGoogle, AdSense, search accounts, Gmail, Google Talk, Youtube embeds, and Google Toolbars)
- allows them to spy on other ad networks such that they can quickly buy out the competition and/or clone any features from newer ad networks more profitable than their own
- this allows Google to establish more meaningful relationships with publishers, and help recruit publishers to the DoubleClick level once they get big enough
- Google has yet another way to spy on any competing web service (outside of ad networks) and be alerted to change before any competing networks
YouTube probably gets about as many pageviews as Google does. By aggressively running display ads on YouTube, Google could likely take that 60% marketshare to 75% in a matter of months. Add in the self-serve expanded network for smaller publishers, and they are well over 80% of the ad display market inside a year.
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