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An ‘Aggregation Aggravation’ Addendum

Ken Goldberg wrote on his blog on Monday “In the past couple of weeks, we have witnessed the apparent demise of highly visible SeeSaw Networks (no hyperlink, as the web site no longer resolves [1]). Not long before that, the CEO of a minor player, Digital AdTech, resigned and moved on and Ken’s thoughts in that post on ‘Aggregation Aggravation’ [2] are a must read.

[3]SeeSaw were dead and buried back in November 2011 [4] when Peter Bowen, Seesaw president told us “I can tell you that we are restructuring and evaluating a variety of options regarding our technology” and Steve Roberts Leaves Digital AdTech [5] is as Ken described, effectively news of a ‘minor player’.

Both of those news items though, actually pale into insignificance with what is about to happen in the so-called aggregation market.

It is obvious that the aggregators with their current business model see some difficulties (not only SeeSaw but think also of BookingDOOH and half a dozen other wannabees who have come and gone over the last few years).

If these sorts of businesses are to survive they need to change their business model so that they can handle the whole campaign process – Ad Serving as say VUKUNET offers is one perhaps (under explored by networks and start-ups alike) sweet-spot.

Look out for news in the coming days and weeks with regard the likes of Adcentricity, DoMedia and rVUE – two of whom are up to something and the other who likes making lots of noise [6] when in fact it ought to focus on making money (rather than keep raising or borrowing it).

2 Comments (Open | Close)

2 Comments To "An ‘Aggregation Aggravation’ Addendum"

#1 Comment By Ken Goldberg On 22 February 2012 @ 11:57 @539


Thanks for the mention of the post and for your addendum and further thoughts. There is little doubt that there are a few factors that complicate life for aggregators, and for others in the food chain between advertisers/agencies and DOOH networks. I’d be shocked if everyone along that chain, not just the middlemen, are not looking at their business models.

I think it is fair to point out that neither DoMedia nor rVue are aggregators in the sense that they do not actually sell ads, but provide tools that allow for media planning and booking across networks. rVue is a Demand Side Platform (DSP), and DoMedia says they are as well. Perhaps a nuance to you, but it is a different model than the dearly departed.

Lionel Tepper commented on my post that cross-platform tools that include mobile booking may be a logical next step. You suggest here that ad serving is an underserved opportunity. You may both be right and time will tell who is nimble enough to pull off either.

Ad serving has always been a sort of holy grail for DOOH planning/booking. I’ve talked with principals at several of the companies in the business about it over the years, and it was always seen as part of the end game. However, despite the marketing claims of one company, it hasn’t been done right as yet. To succeed, ad serving will require openness, pervasiveness and smart use of technology, among other things. Someone *will* crack the code eventually, because the marketplace demands it. Stand by, and hold on to that little checklist.

#2 Comment By Industry Veteran On 22 February 2012 @ 19:46 @865

The reality is that the DOOH aggregation business model requires surprise and repeated on-site audits to ensure the quality of their inventory.

Until they start doing that, there is nothing stopping someone from claiming they have a network, when in fact all they have is a closet full of virtual machines, generating money from ads no one will ever see.

Sadly, abstracting away the network operator also abstracts away the accountability. The situation reminds me of the banner ad click fraud that was so pervasive in the late nineties.