Battle of the (Ad) Network Stars

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63HsxXeNzRk[/youtube]

When Trulia launched its new ad network (see Trulia Launches First Online Real Estate Ad Network) it was an attempt to leverage their network of advertisers while providing a way for third party publishers to showcase their advertising inventory to larger brand advertisers.

It’s a proven business model that works well across the Net, as evidenced by the success of networks like Glam Media and Federated Media and niche networks like the Deck.

And to give credit where credit is due, it’s also a concept in the real estate space that blogger (and occasional FOREM contributor) Erik Hersman first brought up in his post on Realty Thoughts over a year ago (see The Need for a Real Estate Specific Ad Network).

(BTW – Erik walks the walk too and just built a fantastic ad network for the automotive vertical for Piston Media Group.)

So while Trulia’s network may have been the first, surely it wouldn’t be the last…

Yup, sho nuff.

Competitor Cyberhomes just announced they’ve partnered with ad-network provider Adify to launch a competing ad platform that they are calling their Real Estate Vertical Advertising Network.

How many ad networks is too many? At the recent EconAds seminar the question was asked “Is it a good time to start an Ad Network?” The answer:

Now’s as good a time as any to start an ad network business, several panelists said. It’s like starting an Italian restaurant in New York. The good ones will thrive.

So whose business will last? Trulia or Cyberhomes? I suppose it depends on the depth of the advertising relationships both sites maintain and to what degree they are successful in getting publishers to sign up.

There’s no question there is a glut of unsold advertising inventory available these days with so many ad-supported web sites having been launched over the last couple of years. We’re also seeing dollars being shifted into web based advertising like never before So the one that’s able to marry those two needs might very well have a great business on their hands.