GoogleClick Concerns Muted, Industry Execs See It As A Positive
"We're not scared. Google's technology has helped the online ad industry grow to reach something like $27 billion annually, and with the DoubleClick deal it will help grow the [ad-serving] industry," said Rajiv Khaneja, president and CEO of Sparklit, a Canadian company that offers Web hosting, content management and ad-serving services. "The DoubleClick deal will also help grow the industry, and when the industry gets bigger, everyone benefits."
Though the Google-DoubleClick behemoth would dwarf the penetration of Sparklit's Ad Butler service, Khaneja says that the deal creates opportunities for smaller companies to play the role of intermediary. "Advertisers need a way to manage their overall ad serving campaigns," Khaneja said. "So we work with a lot of people who are using DoubleClick or Atlas and help balance their ads between the big and smaller servers."
Jim Waltz, president of Traffic Marketplace (a division of Connexus) echoed those statements, saying that the ad-server power play between Google, Microsoft, WPP, Yahoo and to a lesser extent AOL would create a "great breeding ground a bunch of new companies that bridge the gap and help advertisers work across all of them."
According to Martin Smith, vice president of development for truEffect, a Bloomberg, Colo.-based ad-serving company, the deal will reinvigorate an industry that's been "a bit stagnant for the past four or five years."
Smith said that the consolidation would force ad-serving companies to develop technologies that do a better job at targeting and tracking ads -- all while minimizing the risk to consumer data.
truEffect was one of multiple ad-serving firms that the FTC solicited for commentary to help assess the deal's possible impact on competitors, and while Smith was optimistic about the market in the long term, he did think that the deal would make it harder for smaller firms to compete in the short term.
"Advertisers vote with their dollars, and when they work out these long term contracts with Google and DoubleClick, or huge deals like Viacom with Atlas [via Microsoft] then it flattens the market," Smith said.