©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
In today’s digital advertising landscape where complicated acronyms are ubiquitous, it is often hard to tell who is in control. In my experience, there are three main players: 1) Buyers, who are looking for ways to access media as cheaply and efficiently as possible; 2) Publishers, who it could be argued, have their heads in the sand blindly providing inventory to open exchanges in hopes of increasing the value of their inventory; and 3) Vendors, who are quietly taking advantage of the spread, buying inventory from exchanges and repackaging it as seemingly quality inventory. In addition, other vendors, seeking to arm the main players with ancillary capabilities, have created a fourth group of players and added another layer of inefficiency and complexity to the process. In the current scenarios, none of the players are truly in control, and certainly nobody wins.