I admit that some of the thinking here echoes themes from my last pseudo-prognostication about RMX.
Scenario 1: Status quo. The company remains skeptical of real-time bidding as a solution to bring to its own inventory let alone that of the exchange as concerns around leakage (ewww), channel conflict, commodotization of inventory, etc. persist.
Scenario 2: Right Media Exchange becomes a sell-side platform (SSP). Yahoo! could partner with other big publisher players (utilizing their brand new 5:1 salesforce) like Aol, Turner and Viacom, and RMX could become a clearinghouse for big brand media companies and set higher price floors in an effort to continually automate part – only a part – of any big media companies direct sales team. High performing inventory like Yahoo! Mail will be there as will top brand publishers which should attract brand advertisers. The merging of ad strategies by big content players will likely influence Google as it considers its content strategy going forward. In fact, as certain functions in the ad tech ecosystem become commoditized, content becomes sexy tech and Google could own its own media company, for example.
Scenario 3: Another possibility to go along with the move to the SSP, is Right Media Exchange is turned off and Yahoo! buys again. The innovation in the space – with real-time bidding (RTB) among other features – may currently exceed RMXs sell-side capabilities as Yahoo! could make an acquisition of newer tech.
Scenario 4: Or, Microsoft adds display to its search partnership with Yahoo! and takes over the technology for at least part of Yahoo!’s remnant display strategy. This would mean that someday Yahoo! non-guaranteed inventory suddenly appears “for sale” with Brian O’Kelley and many from the former RMX team at AppNexus as Microsoft and Yahoo! inventory are merged under one exchange or SSP or whatever they’re calling it. Yahoo! would continue to concentrate on content and enable premium revenue opportunities in a more automated way.
Scenario 5: Right Media Exchange is turned off completely, Yahoo! takes a write-off and the company goes “Walker Jacobs.” RTB and ad networks be damned. It’s “Content” and direct sales FTW!
By John Ebbert