Time Warner’s (TWX) cable network division Turner Broadcasting is dumping third-party ad networks. So says sales chief David Levy, who tells MediaWeek that he’ll replace them with his own ad network encompassing all of Turner’s sites (TNT.com, CNN.com, TBS.com, CartoonNetwork.com, AdultSwim.com, etc) and partner sites like NBA.com and PGA.com.
Slamming third-party ad networks, and making a big show in the media trades of “pulling out” of them, has become a stylish sales pitch for online publishers this spring.
Weather Channel EVP of sales Paul Iaffaldano chimed in with a prediction: “By the end of the year, when you look at the list of quality sites, every single one will have pulled out of ad networks.” ESPN also made a big statement of pulling out of ad networks (but kept some, it turns out).
While it’s true that some publishers can sell their inventory (and that of others) better than an ad network, the truth is most of the premium placements weren’t sold via ad networks anyway. But for the vast and growing amount of less-valuable inventory, we suspect they’ll keep slamming ad networks in the press, while they go ahead and use them–in some form–anyway.