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November 20, 2007


James Penman

A caveat. I worked for a PLC that built an automated niche ad network from 2000-2002. It failed not because of the scale of inventory/reach but rather because advertisers didn't get sufficient clicks/conversions. The poor quality of the inventory outweighed reach. Targeting wasn't the issue, reach wasn't the issue. It was conversion to click or sale. Performance.

Then set up a company to run our own UK specific niche ad network for which we still have the code and although it made money it was clear that niche publishers who were willing to aggregate used Google's AdSense for its flexibility in terms of placing ads anywhere on site or thought the little cash they made from advertising wasn't worth the effort.

Remember that advertisers want it both ways - reach and conversion - which is perfectly right and good luck to them but it does muddy the waters relative to entrepreneurial ventures in this area.

The above relates to experience up to around 2005 from memory so, sure, things have probably changed in last 2-3 years.

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