Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Who's the #1 ad network?

For the last six years, comScore has been producing their ad network report, and the #1 player in reach has been Ad.com/Platform-A/AOL. Month in, month out, regardless of season or change in business fortune, they have been atop the rankings. And for nearly all of those six years, I’ve been working for an ad network and looking up at Ad.com in the reach rankings, scheming up ways to catch them. First at BlueLithium, and now Yahoo!

Lo and behold, look what happened in comScore's May 2010 report, which just came out yesterday? The Y! Network is number 1! This is an incredibly rewarding result, especially because it "took a village" to get there. The network reach can be influenced on the margins by smart media acquisition to increase overall network reach, but reach is overwhelmingly influenced by network size. Adding demand leads to adding supply, which leads to greater reach. It's a simple equation, but it takes an army of people working on product, marketing, sales, account management, optimization, analysis, targeting, data utilization, etc, etc to grow a network. This is especially true when you are trying to become the #1 ad network in the land. So it is very gratifying to see a team execute in an effective cross-functional way well enough to achieve this milestone.

There are also so many people I've worked with along the way who moved on from BlueLithium and Yahoo, for whom this is still a big deal. I've definitely got those people in my thoughts, and hope they take a little pride in the accomplishment as well.

I'm not myopic enough to believe that getting to the Summit is the same as staying there. I'm sure there will be a competitive response from Ad.com, once they pick themselves off the canvas, and the rankings have a lot of movement each month. The reality is, however, that all the movement and competitive pressure had never knocked Ad.com from that perch, until now!

"The King is Dead. Long Live the King!"

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