Magazine Publishers Talk of Creating Online Ad Network

By Andrew Gauthier 

Advertising Age

Rival magazine companies are discussing the creation of an ad network that would sell targeted ad space across many of the industry’s websites, according to executives at several different publishers. Discussions are “very preliminary,” with just one meeting so far, but another meeting is in the works.

“The ad network is front and center,” one magazine executive said. “We’re getting killed by ad networks. A lot of companies feel like, as consumer companies with a flood of online content, if we could just create some scale on our own and sell across it, we can get a lot better ad rates.”

Publishers are increasingly reluctant to let ad networks buy up publishers’ unsold online ad inventory and sell it as a network buy at a significant mark-up, an executive at another company said. “Publishers are giving away access to their audiences way too cheap,” he said. “When you sell to a network you make pennies. I’d rather give that value to the advertising community. If the advertising community or the buyers need something, why shouldn’t I provide it to them on my own? The challenge is that each individual publisher doesn’t have the scale necessary.” More…