Traditionally, marketers have targeted consumers though publishers, whose content attracted a given audience. Today, we're increasingly seeing a "disintermediation" in which marketers are reducing their emphasis on publishers and content and relying on data to assure that they are reaching their target audience. This practice of buying/selling advertising by audience alone is awfully reminiscent of securitization in finance. The extreme to which it's being pushed is akin to the subprime mortgage crisis, where low-quality mortgages were packaged as premium assets to unsuspecting investors. This led to the 2008-09 economic meltdown.