One MILLION advertisers.
The Google monolith has a million advertisers and that was just in 2007 according to the New York Times, Miguel Helft.
Good god, man. Imagine what they have now? We surrender!
Over at UBS, which has apparently survived the financial system's freefall, internet stocks analyst, Ben Schachter, puts today's number closer to 1.3 to 1.5 million advertisers at Google. We would assume that this prediction includes the DoubleClick acquisition with the DoubleClick ad exchange and, of course, the Google AdWords platform.
With this kind of scale, Google is akin to an advertising automatic teller machine as it prints money with the blackbox of AdWords and the AdSense content network. Big G remains in the advertising catbird seat for the forseeable future.
Yet, without a clearly defined ad exchange strategy other than the nascent Doubleclick Advertising Exchange, it is possible for other, more nimble players to enter the world of advertiser aggregation through the successful implementation of the exchange model. Given its apparent headstart with ad exchanges, Yahoo!'s RightMedia and APT Platform appear to be the most likely candidate to slowly chip away at Google's advertiser stranglehold. Too bad they don't have a CEO.
For the sake of our advertising agency friends, much like Hulu, we'd suggest that agencies partner with each other to create their own exchange and quick! Their relationships with advertisers will never be stronger than they are today as media buying and planning slowly move in-house at the client and the exchange model takes hold. Creative will always appear to be the opening for agencies. Higher margin media will not.
Yes, get on the bandwagon agencies! If you want to survive you're going to need to build your fortress. You need an exchange and it needs to not be Google's because they're out to steal your biz.
Unfortunately, you agencies are too busy trying to figure out how to survive through the next week rather than having the ability to think long term. Companies like Media Kitchen's Varick Media Management and a few others are learning that they will need to provide new expertise for clients and already are evolving as traders on the exchange.