Rubicon Calls Time On Ad Server; Misallocating Online Spend; Data Economy Trumps All

» The Rubicon Project believes the current ad server is a “legacy technology”, and must be put to the sword. In a blizzard of PR, hype, and typical Rubicon showmanship, the company set out its “manifesto” for content creators last week. The document lists the ways in which it intends to help publishers wrest more spend from the buy-side. I think there is a massive opportunity for the likes of Rubicon on the supply-side. Oversupply of ad inventory is driving prices into the ground. Future revenue growth for publishers now lies in extracting value from data: yield optimisers like Rubicon will have to equip publishers with the tools to better understand and build out audiences, so that they can sell at a higher price to media buyers. Rubicon is clearly positioning itself as a supply-side platform. If it’s to prosper, the new SSP will have to give publishers better technology, better inventory control, better yield management and better audience insight if the current decline in pricing is to be arrested. (The Rubicon Project Blog)

» Chris Dixon posted an interesting blog last week on why he believes online advertising spend is being misallocated. He argues the point that those sites at the top of the sales funnel are not being adequately rewarded for creating the buying intent in the first place. This lost revenue is having an adverse affect on the businesses of struggling publishers, and is ultimately jeopardising the existence of pure-play content sites. The solution: better attribution. In Dixon’s view, tracking users through the entire purchasing process will help reward those intent creators at the top of the funnel. It’s a timely post, given the current debate around publisher revenue, and has some excellent observations from key industry players in the comments. (Chris Dixon Blog)

» Michael D. Andrew, Director of search and analytics at Mediasmith, did a great overview piece last week on the growing economic influence of data within the online display market. In his MediaPost op-ed, Andrew discusses the death of the ad impression (due mainly to oversupply) and the rise of the data economy. He covers familiar ground here, but it’s still a useful summary on the move towards audience-buying and the importance of data to both the buy and the sell side. (MediaPost)