DLD: The network model

I heard vindication for my advocacy of the network model of media online in today’s DLD panel on ad exchanges (aka networks) with Samir Arora of Glam, Christoph Schuh of Burda, Magid Abraham of Comscore, and others. Randy Rothenberg was moderator.

One of the most controversial posts I’ve ever written — politics and Dell aside — was about Glam and its network model of media, arguing that in the connected internet, this will be a major factor. Some agree. Some disagree. The ones who disagree are generally from big, old media and it seems they find the network model threatening. They sell their premium on being brands and destinations and they fear — but shouldn’t, I say — this opening up of their space. See my spat with the Times’ Martin Nissenholtz at the Online Publishers’ Association in which I argued media should be asking “what would Google do?” — WWGD? — and thinking distributed while Martin argued this his brand is worth our trip to it. Those folks argued with me that only they could sell quality because they owned their content; Glam owns little of its. One wonders, then, why the Times is now selling Freakonomics.

In today’s discussion, networks are critical to the future, Comscore argued, because without them, even the biggest online brands don’t reach that much of the audience that much of the time. The top four sites, the search monsters, have only 5% share of page views on the internet and 7% share of their users’ page views. So networks extend them. That is why AOL, Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo have been buying big ad networks.

But Glam is different. It is a content and ad network that curates blogs and sites for women and sells ads and shares revenue on them. Some say that because it isn’t produced by big media, its quality is low. But I heard today that Arora insists on no automated, Googly ads; they only deal with agencies. Networks online are often remnant space filled with dancing monkees. So he wanted to avoid that. When he took over Glam, he asked, “What would it take for advertisers to act on the internet as they act in traditional print?” He also asked: “What is the definition of media going forward?” His next frontier, he says, is to define prime time and prime placement on sites.

OK, so that’s his pitch. That’s just one network. My problem is that there aren’t more of them and that big, old media don’t sell them. Oh, they get involved in networks like Tacoda. But they don’t curate and enable and encourage outside distributed networks. That’s what I want to be a part of.

  • Jeff,

    Your advocacy of premium, targeted networks such as Glam is spot on. But not all big media is resisting – many of them recognize that more and more people are online and visiting more and more sites. These media companies – NBC, Warner Brothers, Martha Stewart, Reuters EMEA, Forbes, ComputerWorld, The Guardian, The WashingtonPost, Tribune/Hoy – for example – are building and selling targeted, topical vertical ad networks using Adify. These companies (and others not publicly announced yet) are leveraging their destination sites, established media sales teams and trusted editorial processes to bring quality content, premium placement and extended reach to their existing and new advertisers. Adify makes it easy and efficient for our network builders to create and manage vertical ad networks.

    We’d love to talk and show you what Adify is doing with major media companies, venture backed enterprises and individual entrepreneurs building out over 90 networks to date.

    Looking forward to it – Russ

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  • Hi Jeff,

    you may already have heard from Christoph Schuh at the DLD about our new pan European network of premium publishers which has now gained with morde that 55 mln uu a size bigger than AOL, Yahoo or Ebay and competing with MSN. But hte real difference of this network ist the content based traffic versus the service based traffic of the big 4. And this surrounding is already accepted very well by the brand advertisers.