Glam Gets on the Ad Exchange Bandwagon with GlamX

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GlamX Ad ExchangeThe creative, vertical ad network, Glam Media, has once again reinvented itself with yesterday's announcement regarding the first vertical ad exchange.

From the press release: "GlamX Ad Exchange enables advertisers to target by audience, content and placement effectively connecting publishers, advertisers, agencies and networks in one innovative platform." OK, well, still sounds like an an network to us, but let's dig deeper. This is the Ad Exchanger, after all. We like ad exchanges and remain open-minded.

Later, the release states, "Advertisers can reach a highly targeted and engaged audience with secondary ads that provide far better reach." Oh, this isn't the good stuff on the Glam Network, this is the remnant, below-the-fold-stuff. Now, we get it. Remnant. Very remnant. Oh wait.. there it is in the release, the GlamX Ad Exchange is for "below the fold and non-primetime remnant ads."

It appears that GlamX will offer demo and contextual targeting but we're not convinced on the openness of the proposed ad exchange platform. Do publishers have control of their pricing? The release is very advertiser-focused and in the ad exchange model, publisher and advertiser both have control.

Silicon Alley Insider has been able to dig deeper with Glam CEO Samir Arora's who told SAI that punch-the-monkey ads won't be allowed (brand ads only) and, in a roundabout way, suggested that advertisers will be required to spend at $1 CPM levels and above.

If publishers can get - let's guess 50% margins for the publisher under the above scenario - $.50 for their below-the-fold inventory.. think they'll be happy? Oh yeah!

Still, if GlamX Ad Exchange doesn't provide publishers control on pricing as an ad exchange should, then it's still relying on the blackbox, AdSense, middleman magic of an ad network. Who knows what the publisher gets paid in the end? Nothing wrong with the model - it's just not an ad exchange as described.

The proof of concept arrives Q4 when the exchange launches according to Arora. We look forward to it.

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