Scott Monty

 

Greg Verdino just posted a great blog entry about the consolidation that have been taking place in the online advertising space. Of recent interest:
  1. Microsoft buys aQuantive for $6 billion on 5/18
  2. WPP Group buys 24/7 RealMedia for $649 million on 5/17
  3. Yahoo buys Right Media for $680 million on 4/30
  4. Google buys DoubleClick for $3.1 billion
I left a long comment on his blog that can be summed up with a couple of questions that marketers might want to ask themselves:
  • If this results in lower ad buys or agency services (unlikely), that might be a positive to shareholders; customers might not benefit, as the realist in me thinks that marketers would simply pad their P&L with wider margins rather than pass along the savings.
  • If we see a more intelligent approach to online marketing and a more comprehensive and unified method of ad creation, behavioral targeting and measurement of results we could expect a much more tightly controlled and better understood ROI, not to mention an audience that receives marketing it truly cares about.
All in all, it's a troubling trend that leaves more decisions in fewer hands. If we were to play out this trend to the extreme, we'd be left with a monolith of a media company (or perhaps a small handful) that controls everything. Scary.

To hammer the point home, you might want to check out a video that I posted on this blog last September that predicts the future of online media. While it doesn't call into account the activity of the ad agencies, it's very eerie, as it predicts the same sort of impact on the world as the latest activities.

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