Google + DoubleClick = A mad, mad media exchange world

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While I am not about to renounce search quite yet, I must admit that I am quite enamored with the prospect of all digital media being sold on an exchange model. Perhaps this is why Friday's announcement that Google had agreed to acquire DoubleClick made my heart flitter. After all, with Google's winning auction structure and DoubleClick's expertise in display, this match just might usher in a new age of media buying and selling.

Not sold that the exchange is the way to go? Here are some trends to keep your eye on:

  • DoubleClick recently announced that it would be launching The Advertising Exchange, a Nasdaq-based exchange for online advertisements, described as a mix between eBay and Sabre.
  •  Yahoo made a strategic investment of more than $40 million in Right Media, a transparent exchange for display advertising. Not only is CEO Michael Walrath a DoubleClick alum, but he recently hired Bill Wise of Did-It to run Remix Media. Expect to see more from this rising star firm.
  • California-based AdECN is another real-time, auction-based exchange for online display advertising. The firm has reportedly banked $5.5 million in venture capital.
  • Adify, a new venture from the founders of Flycast, promises to create a more transparent network, allowing direct, open transactions between advertisers and publishers.
  • If there is anyone who can put Google to the test when it comes to the exchange mode, it is eBay. The firm had been tapped to launch a media exchange under the guidance of Madison Avenue execs. Dubbed the "e-media exchange," the effort faced an uphill battle when the Cable Television Advertising Bureau pulled out of any future testing of the system , a good sign for Google.
  • RootExchange, a surviving division of Root Markets, is an open marketplace for buying and selling consumer intentions, or leads. Specifically, the exchange currently focuses on mortgage leads.
  • European firm WunderLOOP has just launched wunderLOOP Connect, the world's first open, self-service exchange for behavioral targeting-based online advertising.

Of course, the success or failure of any of the above is predicated on the ability to attract the interest of both buyers and sellers. Be it keywords, display, video, leads, behavioral data or all of the above, it is now up to the advertisers and publishers to determine where and how the dollars will flow.

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