A truly open ad marketplace

Fred Wilson wants a transparent ad marketplace:

But there are some things that aren’t yet right about this market.

For one, there really isn’t true price transparency. And there isn’t true performance transparency….

And as I alluded to in the previous paragraph, it is not yet possible for any publisher to run any ad as long as the price and terms are acceptable to both parties. There are a few places where this happens in the online advertising market, like affiliate networks and paid search (sort of). But there are many more places where the advertisers and publishers are contained in walled gardens.

So, I believe that right now, we have a marketplace, but it’s a nascent marketplace.

The thing that gets me so excited, though, is that is so clear where all of this is headed.

Toward massive liquidity

Toward total price and performance transparency

And toward a completely open marketplace where anyone can run anyone’s ad campaign.

And in the process, we will build something that is easily a factor of 10 and maybe a factor of 100 of where we are today.

So, let’s make it happen.

Well, Amen. This is what I was pushing for starting in March with a proposal for an open-source ad call and there is movement in some quarters on this. We need:

1. Open-source metrics — measuring not just traffic but influence and more — with open reporting.

2. An open-source ad call so any advertiser can put together an ad hoc network of the best sites, so any publisher can join the best ad campaigns, so any network can extend reach with any sites for any campaigns.

3. An auction mechanism to match buyers and sellers.

4. The ability to layer on top of this analystics and trust networks (i.e., specifically approved sites that meet advertisers’ needs).

This will be the real Google slayer: an open, transparent, virtually frictionless marketplace where buyer and seller can find and deal with each other openly and where buyers get more value because of greater efficiency and sellers get more value because they sell more than just the words on their pages: They sell their influence, authority, relationships, trust.

Yes, let’s build it.