Online ad exchanges aim to bring ad buyers and sellers together into an open marketplace where unsold
publisher inventory is assigned a value based on advertisers' interest. Advertisers set the price they're willing to pay for the spot, then the exchange notifies the publisher, which will run the spot
if the price meets publisher expectation. By bringing together a lot of sellers--which means bigger targeted audiences--exchanges believe they can help advertisers and publishers get better returns
from non-premium inventory. Advertisers also like the transparent pricing and the neutral, Nasdaq-like approach to selling.
But it's still very early days; exchanges need to build their networks--usage is the key--and consolidate. Then, Q Interactive CEO Matt Wise hopes, "One technology platform can cover an enormous swath of the Internet." It's a pain buying ads from so many ad networks, he says. DoubleClick CEO Dave Rosenblatt agrees: "The exchange concept will have the same impact on the display market" as Google's AdWords had on search, he says. That would be some impact