Ad networks have always faced scrutiny in the ad tech world for a variety of reasons. There were complaints of too many ad networks, then not enough of them; concerns of high margins, opacity and unsavory inventory. But since the late '90s, ad networks have weathered and adapted to every economic and technologic storm, and the successful players are still growing. In fact, I believe the explosion of programmatic media buying has made them indispensible for marketers looking to drive performance for their brand. However, many still insist that ad networks are on their last legs
When I spoke with Frank Addante from Rubicon Project last week, we had a lot to say about where programmatic is heading. I'm optimistic about top-tier publishers engaging in programmatic, in the adoption of rich media ad units, and in the broader adoption of HTML5 standards. Addante's optimism comes from a much more pragmatic place.