Yahoo! on Right Media Exchange: We’re Premium, That’s P-R-E-M-I-U-M

PremiumYahoo! is on the warpath again today with its premium messaging as a blog post by Stephanie Dorman, Senior Director, Client Services and Operations, bangs the drum on the closing of DMX and the new “premium” focus for its Right Media Exchange:

“We believe that the future of the Right Media Exchange lies in the premium marketplace and we have spent the second of half of 2009 paving the way for what we anticipate will be a very exciting 2010.”

In regards to Direct Media Exchange (DMX), there has been some suggestion in the press that the small publisher is getting screwed by the closing of DMX. That seems like a stretch. DMX was the end of the road for small publishers. If you were selling there, you likely had inventory that couldn’t beat AdSense – the traditional bottom of the stack.

As for Right Media Exchange, in the months to come, the proof will be in the inventory pudding whether the strategic shift has taken place as many advertisers, ad networks and DSPs – which have readily bemoaned the quality of some of the inventory of the past – continue buying through the exchange in search of golden, “premium” nuggets. Hopefully, the nuggets will become boulders. If they don’t, technology will continue to enable buyers to look multiple supply sources more efficiently than ever before leaving RMX vulnerable other than as a source for Yahoo!-branded inventory.

Ironically, in spite of the continuing innovation in the space which is driving new strategies for the ad ecosystem (there it is.. the 10,000th time I’ve used the word “ecosystem”), simple curation could be the basis for something great.

It’s not always the best technology that wins, it’s the curation? OK, it’s likely a combo – as scale cannot be achieved otherwise for access to inventory that an advertiser wants and access to demand that a seller wants. Technology can do part of the lifting, but ultimately it’s a human third-party providing the rules and regulations of the exchange which needs to make its mind up – do we go for the gold or straddle?

Buyers and sellers will ultimately vote with their media dollars and inventory, respectively.

by John Ebbert

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