CBS Interactive’s Neil Ashe on Cutting Out Third-Party Ad Networks

CBSInteractiveLogo.jpgCBS Interactive president Neil Ashe spoke with paidContent to shed more light on the company’s decision to curtail the use of third-party ad networks and sell its ad inventory on its own.

Highlights of Ashe’s conversation with paidContent:

It’s safe to say that we were never the biggest proponents of ad networks. However, we’ve always been testing to make sure we were right on that. Why now? Because we have the confluence of size and the sales force covering all the accounts that matter. Plus, we have the technological capabilities that the market demands. We can do it on our own in a way that almost no one else can. Reason No. 2 was that we wanted to dispel any confusion in the marketplace that our inventory was available in our ad networks. We had seen a number of ad networks implying that they had access to our entire inventory and, of course, they did not. We wanted to be absolutely crystal-clear as to where advertisers could get our content.

When you have very high-quality inventory like ours, it gets mixed in with generic ad-network placements, (which) dilutes our value and increases the value of the network. So what we’re saying with this change is, “Skip all of the junk and just come straight to us.”