At yesterday's Digiday Networks conference in New York City, members of "The Next Generation Ad Network" panel prognosticated on the future of the network model, pre-cursor to the exchange.
Bant Breen, President of IPG's Initiative Worldwide added his insight on ad networks as well as a bit more detail on Cadreon, the latest entrant in the agency platform arms race:
Agencies have been formidable buyers on ad networks for a long, long time. If I were to think of a percentage, up to 30-40% of all of our buys were on ad networks recently...
We definitely think across all media in our agency because we're an integrated agency. We obviously want to take the relevant data from all of these different sources and really focus on target audience and segments we want to reach.
Recently, we launched Cadreon, our audience exchange or marketplace, so to speak, which allows us to aggregate data - from ad networks, from third-party data sources; it can be from specific, client historical databases - marry that with exchange-based buying opportunities, marry that ultimately with an ongoing optimization process.
We are focused on reaching our target audiences - our consumers -in the most relevant way which sounds familiar to an ad network story albeit we're trying to do it in a more flexible framework that has our clients in mind and not only publishers.
Later, Breen noted:
You'll see services that are related [to Cadreon], as well, and I think you'll hear a couple more announcements in that regard in the near future. What we're doing is working with a ton of partners, though, in that [exchange] ecosystem. It is a slightly different ecosystem [than ad networks]. It may very well be that we'll actually work with a Right Media or others in that regard. I would concur completely about the model and the way we see the next year, two years evolving."
Data is driving the exchange model - and agencies are ramping as fast as they can to take advantage of price and control on behalf of their clients.