The resurgence of Internet marketing is leading to the renaissance of an unlikely model — the humble online ad network. This time around, though, networks go beyond the banner-based, content-targeted model familiar to digital marketers.
The biggest recent news in the network arena was Google’s expansion last week of its AdSense contextual ad offering. The search giant added .GIF and .JPG banner capabilities, a move that makes its network of small to mid-sized sites look a lot like yesteryear’s traditional banner networks.
Meanwhile, behavioral marketing player Tacoda is building its own ad network to compete for search dollars. With AudienceMatch, Tacoda is mimicking the model popularized by Google’s AdSense and Overture’s ContentMatch, but it’s targeting by behavior rather than by context.
Recognizing the competitive threat from behavioral targeting and performance-based players, several veteran ad networks have also begun to expand the range of targeting options available to customers. 24/7 Real Media, one of the survivors of the network business, will debut its behavioral targeting capabilities next month. BlueLithium, which just launched in January, will announce plans to offer contextual targeting for its network next week.
With all the news in the network business, ClickZ decided the time was right for an overview. We contacted a number of major ad networks to obtain their pricing models, targeting methods, network profiles and other details. Of course, our overview undoubtedly misses some players. We’ve also decided to include one — aQuantive’s DrivePM — that doesn’t strictly meet the definition of an ad network, though it functions similarly from the advertiser’s perspective.
The result below:
|The Return of the Ad Network|
|24/7 Real Media||Mostly CPM||Contextual, will offer behavioral in June 2004||750 sites, approximately 50 of which are large sites||IAB standard units, including rich media||No|
|Advertising.com||CPA||*||Network includes Associated Press, Billboard.com, eUniverse
|IAB standard units, including rich media||No|
|CPA auction||Behavioral, contextual and demographic||The top 250 publishers, as defined by MediaMetrix site traffic||IAB standard units, including rich media||No, but is expected to develop|
|BlueLithium||Mostly PPC; some CPM||Contextual with next week’s launch of BlueTheory targeting||Around 1000 sites||IAB standard units, including rich media||Yes, as of next week|
|Burst!||Mostly CPM; PPC available for some campaigns.||Contextual, with some demographic targeting||Approximately 2,000 sites across 477 channels; mid-sized publishers represent the core of the network||IAB standard units and text ads||No|
|ClickAgents||CPA||*||*||IAB standard units, including rich media||No|
|Fastclick||CPM, PPC and CPA||Contextual, by 18 content categories, as well as by geography, bandwidth,
daypart and other factors
|6,200 active sites, mostly small publishers but large ones as well||IAB standard units, including rich media||yes, with limitations|
|Google AdSense||PPC auction||Contextual||Thousands of small- to mid-sized publishers and a few large ones||Text and banner ads||Yes|
|Kanoodle.com ContextTarget||PPC auction||Contextual, using topic matches||Sites include MSNBC.com, CBSMarketWatch.com and TheMotleyFool.com||Text ads, with the option of including a logo||Yes|
|Max Online||CPM||Contextual||Approximately 1,000 sites||IAB standard units, including rich media||No|
|Overture Content Match||PPC auction||Contextual||Several large publishers (most notably MSN) and numerous verticals||Text ads||Choose from self or managed service|
|Tacoda AudienceMatch||PPC auction||Behavioral, demographic||Predominantly large sites; full profile not yet released||Text ads||Yes|
|Tribal Fusion||CPM, sponsorships||Contextual, plus geotargeting and dayparting||700 publishers, with a wide reach||IAB standard units, including rich media||No|
|ValueClick Media||CPM and PPC||Contextual, by 17 channels; behavioral, geographic, demographic,day-part and other targeting options also available||Portals, vertical sites and niche publishers; 120 million unique users per month worldwide||IAB standard units, including rich media||No|
* = Not available at press time.
Despite the fact that it faces growing competition from Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, Google-owned YouTube is still one of the most popular ... read more
Amazon prides itself on being the most “customer-centric” company in the world, but according to investigative journalism non-profit ProPublica, Amazon’s algorithms are often anything but ... read more