Openads Set To Take On Google?

    June 15, 2007

As I’m writing this, Google has a market capitalization of $156.66 billion, a company called Openads just received $5 million in funding, and some observers are pitting the two companies against one another.  But this concept isn’t as nutty as it might seem.

Still, before getting any further, I should point out that the idea was not brought up by the Openads team.  In other words, don’t think that they’re a cocky bunch.

In fact, the Openads “About Us” section doesn’t go much beyond a product description: “The highly sophisticated and FREE Openads adserver software gives site owners everything they need to generate revenue from their websites.  Publishers get complete control of banners and campaigns along with a highly sophisticated tracking system for gathering statistics, all from the one simple screen interface.”

So on to the thought of Openads going up against Google.  Jeff Jarvis of the BuzzMachine blog writes, “If this becomes a platform for ad serving across the web, then I believe neat new things can happen – perhaps even the first steps toward the open-source ad network I’ve been pushing.”

Next comes the key phrase: “I think this could become the basis of open competition with Google – not replacing Google but allowing publishers and advertisers to put together higher value ad hoc networks.”

Jarvis then adds, “Or maybe I’m just projecting.”

Yet even Reuters is on board with the idea.  The very first sentence of an article about Openads’s funding states that the money is “bolstering it to prepare for increasing competition globally with Google Inc.”

How well can a company with $5 million do against one with over $150 billion?  The odds aren’t good, but Openads is generating a lot of positive buzz.  And we’ve got to remember: this is only a fight according to some of the people on the sidelines.