In an effort to expand beyond the auction model and beyond remnant online and outdoor advertising avails, AdAuction.com, the first online media marketplace, plans to change its direction and re-brand itself as One Media Place.
"One Media Place is the next-generation evolution of Adauction.com," reads a line on the company's new Web site.
Published reports have tied AdAuction.com's new identity to CMGI -- not a surprising link, since the holding company has a number of ad industry properties, but so far has not invested in an online advertising exchange. One report said CMGI was investing in One Media Place, and another said the new entity was formed through partnership with CMGI's Engage Technologies. Even an outright acquisition might make sense. Company officials wouldn't confirm the reports, but did say AdAuction.com would be announcing news later this week.
There's likely more to the story, although officials are tight-lipped. Besides having registered the onemediaplace.com domain name, AdAuction.com executives have also registered variations on twomediaplace.com and threemediaplace.com. No one is saying what will be built with those domain names, and they all currently point to "under construction" pages.
Online advertising industry exchanges have become the industry's latest hot model. Last week, MediaInternet.com launched a beta release of its advertising industry exchange and portal. A group of ad industry veterans, with the support of McCann-Erickson Worldwide, have announced plans to create another, MediaMarketMakers.com. An established exchange, AdOutlet.com, recently picked up a $25 million investment.
From the Web site, it appears AdAuction.com is significantly widening its mission with the launch of One Media Place. The word "auction" doesn't appear in any description of its services, which may mean that it's abandoning the model. Instead, the company touts, "Adjustable pricing based on real-time supply and demand." The auction model has been criticized as requiring too much time from media buyers, and for driving down the price of inventory.
In addition, in the new incarnation, the company will expand into print, radio, and television. Within the past few months, AdAuction.com has hired a number of top executives -- including chief executive officer Jerry Machovina -- with expertise in traditional media.
The company also plans international expansion, and has added executives with experience in other markets.
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Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.