Who's Serving Your Ad

Since we started regularly running the Ad Network Watch in MEDIA Magazine, many networks have come and gone. Some lost funding. Some couldn’t drum up enough business to stay afloat. Some altered their business structure. Most networks have enhanced the capabilities of their ad serving technology, using it for their network and licensing it to others. To clarify the Ad Network Watch, we include only impression counts (in column three) for ads delivered by the network into their respective collection of sites. Most of the vendors claim significantly higher impressions served each month, choosing to combine the counts of their network sales with all ads served using their technology.

In the next few paragraphs, and in the bottom half of the grid in this month's issue, we’ll give you a look at how only the ad serving components of many of these networks stack up.

Open AdStream (OAS), built by Real Media in 1995, has become the largest of the ad servers. In July alone, OAS served a whopping 200 billion impressions worldwide. The former Real Media network, delivering 2.5 billion impressions monthly through OAS, is now called iCover, and is run by Publicitas, another company owned by Real Media’s parent, PublicGroupe. Real Media will concentrate exclusively on the ad serving technology side of the business. Another long-time ad serving technology, AdKnowledge, has just been acquired by Bluestreak from Engage. Bluestreak will be combining the AdKnowledge business with their existing ad serving technology called Ion Ad Server.

ValueClick developed Dynamo in 1997 as their ad serving technology for publishers. The majority of the sites repped by Valueclick use this technology. In July 2001, ValueClick acquired MediaPlex, a company that focuses on ad serving, CRM, and email. MediaPlex’s MOJO ad server will now offer ad serving to ValueClick’s advertisers. With this recent merger, ValueClick now has half of their business structure focusing on media and half on technology. The Valueclick network serves 10.3 billion impressions monthly, while their licensed out ad serving drums up 2 billion monthly impressions.

L90 came up with adMonitor in 1998. Unlike the other networks mentioned, L90’s technology only accounts for 25% of their revenue, with their Media side generating the remaining 75%. AdMonitor has 500 external ad serving clients, not including the 600 sites repped by L90, which are required to use adMonitor as their ad server. L90’s network serves 7 billion impressions through adMonitor, with an additional 2.5 billion from the external clients. DoubleClick’s DART (Dynamic Advertising Reporting Targeting) is the second-largest ad server based on monthly impressions. DART serves roughly 2 billion ads daily and over 50 billion ads a month. We estimate the DoubleClick network delivers 10 billion impressions a month through DART, with the other 40 billion from licensed clients. DART has added wireless, rich media, and iTV targeting into the mix as well as DARTmail, which serves ads into email, both HTML and text.

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