Back in June 2011, I wrote a post titled, The 87.5% Category According to Luma – Lots of Acquisitions. The purpose of the article was to highlight that ad serving systems for online/digital media had a high propensity to be acquired or realize a significant exit. 87.5% of all ad servers on the chart had gone through an exit. Not bad.
Over the last week of December, I spent some time at home and caught up on my favorite blogs and online content in between playing with my two kids. In doing this, I spent time reading a December 20th post on AdExchanger by Google’s VP of Display, Neal Mohan. While I’ve personally never met Neal, I have a lot of respect for what he’s doing at Google. He has a great quote that I couldn’t agree with more:
We also know that advertisers and agencies ideally don’t want a separate buying platform for each type of media — they want a way to buy across all formats, and in 2012 I think they’ll get it. Real-time bidding (and by extension audience buying) has proven to be a transformative technology for buying desktop display — on our exchange, it currently accounts for 60 percent of all transactions. In 2012, we’ll start getting into that ballpark for mobile and video as well.
If you recall, when I wrote the 87.5% article, I highlighted an area in particular stands out to me as a killer opportunity:
If I personally was to start a company tomorrow, I’d probably create the next 3rd party ad serving system built for the future of all media (able to serve site-direct placements, social media and RTB) and include the opportunity for biddable, rich media, video, and full reporting & analytics. I believe no ad serving system delivers superior reporting and analytics so this is an area that I’d specifically make sure I’d nail.
I think this is an area for massive innovation because the vision that the industry hasn’t recognized the full vision for the future… I believe that all media will be served, tracked, and optimized across all channels. Television, print, radio, and out of home will all in some way or another be served, tracked and optimized. This obviously cannot happen overnight as there are quite a few barriers and obstacles to go thru, but the opportunity is huge. There is a reason why 87.5% of the companies in the ad serving segment have been acquired.
It looks like Neal and I are thinking the same thing and if any of you entrepreneurs are as well, I’d love to meet you. This is an area that we are searching to invest in at kbs+ Ventures. You can contact me here.