The truth about ad nets?

I am putting the blogger hat back on after a hiatus for the birth of my first son on 7/29.  Baby and Mom are healthy – thanks for asking!

This article on MediaPost – erstwhile Internet Analyst Jordan Rohan sharing some observations about ad networks – was the first in my archive.  In the context of Mr. Rohan’s comments on network margins, I would assert that networks with truly differentiated capabilities earn whatever margins they capture.  However, I do agree that there is too little differentiation in the network space in general.  In particular, network reach tends to receive more focus than it should (as I have previously mentioned), while differences in specific capabilities tend to receive less focus than they should.  On the other hand, I strenuously disagree with Mr. Rohan’s  assertion that networks cannot be blind.  I have written in detail on how seriously we take the channel conflict issue and how we help our publishers partners manage it.  Blindness is fundamental to our approach.  Mr. Rohan suggests posing as media buyer to test network claims of blindness.  I can tell you some of our publisher partners have done just that with and come away satisfied that we are as concerned about channel conflict as they are and that our SafeScreen page-level filtering technology gives content-sensitive Brand advertisers an assurance of page-level content quality that even transparency would not.

The truth, but not the whole truth and some things that aren’t the truth.

About Andy Atherton
I am currently an SVP at AppNexus. I previously spent four years as COO and cofounder of, a pioneer in programmatic reserve technology and leading digital media buying solution for top brands. Prior to, I was Vice President of Pricing and Yield Management for Yahoo!, responsible for maximizing monetization of a global portfolio of display inventory worth $2B annually. Beginning in 2002, I created, developed and globalized Yahoo’s PYM function over a period of five years. Prior to Yahoo!, I was president and cofounder of Optivo, a venture-backed start-up that developed price optimization software for e-commerce retailers. More on LinkedIn...

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