Bluelight Special on Ad Serving

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Inplace #2

oldguy2.jpgThe ad inventory race is heating up with a new contender in the commoditized ad server market. While the scarcity of ad space continues to grow many players have raised the stakes of the game by offering free publisher based ad serving. This new approach has put pressure on ad servingcompaniesto be very creative in attracting publishers. Today’s announcement reflects how aggressive things are becoming.

Today, Tribal Fusion’s parent company, Exponential, also announced the launch of a free commercial ad server for publishers. Expo9 has been tested for the past several months by more than 100 clients, including Intermarkets, and serves between 20 and 25 billion ads per month on Exponential’s Tribal Fusion Network. Right Media made a bold move and announced their Publisher Media Exchange product several months ago enabling publishers to have free ad serving and manage their inventory.

Exponential’s vice president of strategic marketing, Alistair Goodman has said that the platform has the capacity to serve up to 75 billion ads per month. Goodman has said that this should offer an alternative to other costly platforms. The platform will be made available full-scale in July.

The innovation, according to Goodman that Expo9 brings is the ability for publishers to manage several accounts and deal with many advertising partners on a single server. Expo9 also provides the technology to maximize revenue by sorting ad content and serving the most relevant ads to each user. Another feature allows usage without the publisher having to download or host the platform themselves.

“It’s an upgrade [to the former Tribal Fusion ad server] and it will be the first time we are making this product, with all its features and functionality, available to publishers to use for free,” said Goodman.

Many critics have speculated that Exponential and Openads, a London-based company, have created free sites with the hopes of being pioneers in what has been hypothesized to be an emerging trend amongst larger companies such as Google.

However Goodman contests this notion stating, “We actually decided to work on this long before the Google/DoubleClick merger. We’ve been testing it for the past couple of years. It’s not a response to the market. In our view, the real value in working with our publishers is helping them know how to better monetize their sites. This gives us a way of deepening our relationships with them and bringing additional value to their businesses.”

With the DoubleClick and Google (coined as GoogleClick) integration and the Yahoo and Right Media integration, there is sure to be some interesting products and new models released from other companies to compete in this new marketplace.