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David and Goliath

Smart Business
Belgium Edition
By Claudine Descheemaecker
February, 2002

Last week I read an interesting article: "Are you still paying for unsold banner ads?" I couldn't believe what I was reading. what website would be willing to pay for unsold space. After some research I was even more surprised finding out that this is common practice in th e internet advertising business. Goliath "Double Click" invoices websites both for sold and unsold ad space without a doubt. One of the reasons is, that their servers are hit in both cases(1)

Well David or the start up ZEDO - who wrote the article that I saw - found a brilliant solut ion. ZEDO developed a technology a la napster that makes the clients' browser intelligent. Instead of using central hardware and data central a la Double Click, ZEDO uses content deli very networks like Akamai and Speedera for sending/storing the ad that has been selected on the browser of the user. In case of unsold ad space, the browser knows that he does not need to ask for a new banner ad but needs to show a blank ad or a house ad. Does this make a difference? That's the least you can tell, it cuts advertising cost by half!

Will this David win the game from GOLIATH? Only God knows. Is it a brilliant solution? You bet it is. besides it looks like the VISIONARIES of the internet ADVERTISING industry agree with me on this. it looks like Larry Braitman and esther Dyson joined the Board of the company,... So it might be that we are looking at a battle that Double Click might loose. After all, everything is possible in the US.

(1) The former generation of ad serving technologies like Double Clicks' works as followed: The browser sends a request to a double click server that looks up what ad needs to be showe d to the user. Once the ad has been selected, the server sends a request to another server who sends the gi f to the browser of the user.
In the 3rd generation ad serving technologies, the selection happens on the browser, who sends a request for a gif to the CDN (content delivery network eg Akamai, Speedera)