Platform A, America Online’s third-party advertising network, was supposed to be the savior of the business (or, at the very least, a property that would allow Time Warner to sell off the entire Internet property). However, it looks as though the economic slowdown is hurting its sales as well:
Time Warner Inc., the world’s largest media company, said slower growth at its AOL network that buys and sells online advertisements is threatening its chances of meeting sales goals for the rest of the year.
But this only affects AOL, right? Wrong.
Silicon Alley Insider offers its expert opinion on why this means trouble for the advertising industry as a whole:
Of course, this is also bad news for the rest of the Web business, especially the one-million-and-counting ad networks that have sprung up in the last year. Ad networks were supposed to be particularly resilient to an overall ad slowdown. In theory, advertisers looking for bargain space were supposed to come flooding to the networks, which link them up with publishers’ less desirable inventory. And if a top-tier player like AOL can’t make it work, look out below.