On Middlemen: Forbes.com's Smith Discusses The Online Advertising Value Chain

Middlemen ReactionAdExchanger.com recently asked several members of the advertising ecosystem about "Middlemen" and, specifically:

  • "Are there too many parties trying to insert themselves into the online advertising value chain? How do you see this playing out?"

The following contribution is a publisher perspective from Michael Smith, President, Forbes.com.

No, but all of the competition in the space will eventually lead to clear leaders among the exchanges, data providers and demand-side platforms. Even after the winners emerge, however, the ecosystem will still require the entrance of new players to maintain the high level of innovation we’re seeing at present. For the exchanges, access to inventory and enabling real-time transactions will continue to play a key role in shaping the way that media is bought and sold online, and the demand-side platforms will continue to fight for market share among agencies and advertisers, affecting change, as some get purchased by larger players looking for entrance into this space.

The data providers will succeed or fail based on the quality of the data and the partnerships they form to grow access to their data. There is a real opportunity for several to become an integral part of the ecosystem so long as the data proves to add value in terms of performance and ROI. The dynamic creative technologies also have the opportunity to improve efficiency and performance lift for the end clients.

It is a very exciting time for the industry, and the rapid pace of innovation will only continue to increase, as advertisers begin to get excited about the new opportunities for reaching their desired audience (and new audiences alike).

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