Best of the Net: AdNetworks

  • by May 29, 2002
Being the best online ad network takes more than just repping the largest number of sites. The quality of the content is a major factor, along with the number of impressions the network as a whole is serving. But the distinctions don’t end there. Perhaps most important is what resources a network has to offer an advertiser in capturing its intended audience—ad serving and targeting capabilities, along with a choice of pricing structures. Here are the tops in the field.

L90 L90 serves 7 billion impressions monthly, and its lower-cost network, Zonfire, serves 3 billion. To extend its capabilities, L90 partnered with wireless company Zondigo and bought list management company Novus. L90 recently sold its ad-serving technology assets (adMonitor and ProfiTools) to DoubleClick in order to focus on the media side of its business. Serving almost 4 billion impressions monthly, touts itself as being one of the first networks to incorporate performance-based pricing and the first to begin serving wireless ads in the U.S. (February 2000).’s AdLearn technology offers a fully automated way to determine what ad to show a particular person within a particular context; changes are made in real-time. Along those lines, the network also offers email marketing, designs promotions (both on- and offline), and has its own ad serving technology called ACE Serve, which serves ads throughout the network and for third-party clients.

DoubleClick Strictly in terms of impressions, DoubleClick stands as the number one network, serving an estimated 10 billion monthly. DART is its industry-leading ad-serving technology (see page opposite). DoubleClick splits its media side into two networks, “brand” and “audience.” The brand network contains well-known websites and is for advertisers who know their target group. The audience network is broader, allowing advertisers to reach varied audiences. DoubleClick offers email marketing, and has a list management service. It also owns a research company, Diameter, which aides advertisers in interpreting online behavior and planning campaigns. In addition, DoubleClick has a direct marketing division called Abacus, a database of online transactions used for target marketing purposes.

ValueClick For the number of companies it has acquired in roughly a year’s time, ValueClick deserves an honorable mention. It was already serving an estimated 5 billion impressions itself when it acquired ClickAgents, a CPC network; onResponse, a CPA and CPL company; and Zmedia, a co-registration company—then merged with MediaPlex, an ad-serving company that also specialized in eCRM email delivery. We bet DoubleClick is glad it bought a stake in this up-and-coming network.

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