Ad Network Prices, the Long Tail, and the Recession

Ad Network Price Trends

Ad network prices are on the rise, and Peter Kafka argues that this may be a bad thing. After all, the trend could take revenue away from higher-priced display advertising.

Even if that is the case, I would argue that this is ad revenue going down the Long Tail — in this case, ad networks often deployed on independent sites. Display ads sold on big sites would represent the Short Head. Even if the Short Head is getting shorter, the Long Tail is getting fatter.

Contributing to this trend could be advertisers’ need for greater accountability on their ad spend during a recession. Display ads bring exposure, but network ads bring conversions.

That may not be such a good thing for properties like the Wall Street Journal, for which Kafka writes. It’s a fantastic thing for independent publishers. Here’s to the little guy getting a bigger slice of the advertising money pie.

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