Yes, but too many intermediaries is the nature of a fast growing, billion dollar plus, high margin industry.
I am constantly amazed that every time that I think of a new product feature there are 1-3 companies in this space that are specifically addressing them.
Each of these features will likely become a component of an integrated platform or of a solution stack. The focus on specific challenges is critical to a new industry and it should be spread across a number of best-of-breed providers.
The diversity of companies does have its challenge. It creates an integration/standards problem and a cost inefficiency because each company needs to claim their share of the ad spend from either the advertiser or the publisher. The result is less value for the advertiser and less cash for the publisher.
However, if given time to blossom, the innovative nature will lead to a much more useful solution than it would if a few of the larger market companies moved to stifle the market by restricting access to their inventory, data or platform.
A few large companies in this space have rolled out the red carpet to actively support small start ups and they should be applauded. I feel that these companies are keeping their finger on the pulse of innovation and they will come to lead the market.