AOL’s Platform-A The Real Challenge For Google
The purported competition between Google and Microsoft for users of productivity applications means little compared to gaining ground in the display ad market against the leading advertising network.
AOL’s Platform-A reaches over 90 percent of the US Internet-surfing population, gaining over 170 million visitors in March 2008. The assessment of the top 15 US ad networks by measurement firm comScore found Platform-A ahead of Yahoo and Google, respectively.
Yahoo’s ad network reached 160 million visitors in March, while Google picked up 152 million. “Each of the top 15 ad networks delivered ads to at least half of the total U.S. Internet audience in March, making them very effective reach-building vehicles for advertisers,” comScore said.
The figures from comScore cast AOL and Yahoo in a different light than the sometimes-negative news about the companies. Despite operational and management woes, both online companies pull in hundreds of millions of ad visitors.
Those levels of traffic may be in jeopardy now that Google officially added DoubleClick to its business. Google’s need to diversify its multi-billion dollar business beyond contextual ads led to its $3.24 billion acquisition of DoubleClick for its display advertising capabilities.
The Internet Marketing Observations blog suggested reach was overrated as a determination of an ad network’s effectiveness. Performance, not reach, will be the more substantial proof of how well an ad network, Platform-A or otherwise, succeeds for its advertising clients.