Audience Fragmentation Driving Ad Serving Buys

    October 19, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and WPP all ponied up big bucks to gain advertising companies, as Tacoda’s Dave Morgan suggests a splintering online audience has driven this.

AOL acquired Tacoda, announcing the deal back in July. It gave AOL a behavioral targeting ad server, something that Google and Microsoft also sought to grab with their respective deals for DoubleClick and aQuantive.

Throw in Yahoo’s BlueLithium and Right Media, and WPP’s 24/7 Real Media, as similar purchases, and it looks like everyone suddenly decided to make moves in that direction.

Morgan commented in a Jordan, Edmiston Group client briefing that the Microsoft and Google moves in particular surprised him.

“Not because I didn’t expect these companies (DoubleClick and aQuantive) to be acquired at some point, but because the transactions happened so quickly,” said Morgan.

“Clearly, neither of these acquirers wanted to take a chance on missing the anticipated growth of online display advertising.”

Blame the attention-divided audience, both on- and off-line for this. Morgan said this audience fragmentation is accelerating, posing a significant impact on the whole media, marketing, and advertising ecosystem.”

“The future is about serving ads to people, not to pages or programs,” said Morgan.