Shifting the Definition of Ad Network

Ad networks are dead? Not so fast.

Collective today announced the acquisition of Tumri, an ad solutions vendor, adding to the recent rush of acquisitions by major players in the ad tech ecosystem, creating a slew of companies offering clients services that straddle the lines between agency, publisher and ad technology solutions. Collective recently purchased video ad platform WebTV Enterprise and rich media ad tech firm Oggifinogi in the UK and struck a partnership with ad exchange platform Appnexus.

The purchase is indicative of a general move towards consolidation in the industry and dynamic content optimization  becoming a priority for brands and ad technologies firms, evidenced by Google’s recent purchase of optimization platform AdMeld and Yahoo’s acquisition last year of dynamic display platform Dapper. It also signals a shift of the role of the ad network, from audience aggregator to tech-fueled specialist.
“[Dynamic creative optimization] has been largely relegated to the direct and ecommerce channels, but its application can have spectacular results for brand advertisers as well,” stated Joe Apprendi, CEO, Collective in a statement. “The combination of Tumri and Oggifinogi provides a rich, video-enabled canvas through which brands can connect with consumers across the entire spectrum of online display advertising.”
Luma Partners advised Tumri on the deal. In a blog post, the company (half in jest, we assume) heralded the arrival of the “enlightened ad network,” which it deffined as a “technology-based marketing services provider.” Many ad networks have made moves in this direction, such as Adconion’s move into branded content and the recent acquisition of MySpace by Specific Media. The rise of real-time bidding and ad exchanges was heralded by many as the death knell for the ad network, vilified by publishers and advertisers alike as a middleman who takes too big of a cut out of transactions.
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