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A Nice Online-Ad 101 Post

June 4th, 2008

I stumbled across an interesting post written by Ian Thomas from Microsoft — Online Advertising Business 101, Part I – The Online Advertising Value Chain. It’s a great basic read for anyone who wants to start with the basics of who does what in our industry.

I will point out that Ian is clearly on the tech side of the fence though — he draws the industry as a flow of impressions from publishers to advertisers, whereas most media focused folks will think of the reverse — money flowing from the advertiser to the publisher. If you have no clue what I”m talking about, check out my old post: Business or Tech.

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  • Ian Thomas


    Thanks for the shout-out. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog since I discovered it a little while ago, and as you say in your first post here, there aren’t very many people who are blogging about the industry as a whole and its dynamics/economics. So I thought I’d join the debate, and it’s nice to see my efforts well-received.

    Per your comment about the direction of the arrows – :-) . Yes, you’re right that I am a techie at heart (though have spent a lot of time on the business side). I suppose I think of the arrows going that way because that’s the direction that the goods are shipped in, and also, in a value chain, I’m thinking that the publisher provides value to the network, who provides value to the agency, who provides value to the advertiser. But I shall try your test out on my colleagues and see what comes out.. :-)



  • Barry Chu

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for posting the link – inspired me to write a bit on my own thoughts on the Advertising Value Chain. I don’t have a good feel yet for what’s obvious and what’s not to most people yet but I’ve found jotting down my thoughts a good exercise regardless. Anyhow, if you’ve got time to check it out would appreciate your thoughts! I basically cop out and state that there are two value chains one for publishers and one for advertiser/marketers that interact with one another. :)

  • ZipRepair

    This blog is really very helpful for updating my knowledge…