According to this article Fairfax Digital have approached some of the other large players about setting up a remnant inventory pool between these players (FD, News, ninemsn, Yahoo!) to try and defend their turf against other remnant inventory sellers such as Max and DGM.
Jack Matthews has a tough dilemma - having his cake and eating it too.
Taken from http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23307005-7582,00.html ""Performance is a big strategic challenge for us," Mr Matthews said. "We are looking at whether we will be running a performance network ourselves. One of our concerns is that we do want to make sure we maintain our premium inventory." "
Matthews has claimed the talks are more about the large players coming together to try and spruke the values of premium inventory. To be honest, this seems more sensible.
With the Internet truly global and users having access to millions of sites - not to mention Google playing a huge role in what sites get traffic given the importance of search, you really have to wonder what a network like this would achieve despite diluting the value these networks have tried to protect and actively promote in the past 18 months. There is more reach to be had via the countless networks that sell blind buys across the Internet.
I often wonder whether performance can ever be something that increases yield over time given it's remnant, unsold, generally untargeted and most importantly completely irrelevant to the page content. Don't get me wrong, 'performance' has its place but is it going to offer sustainable growth and long term advantage for publishers? Are there more short term dollars in moving publishers Google AdSense ads closer to the fold? At least these have a connection to page content.
The hysteria around performance is definitely interesting in 08. Is MARKET/client need driving it or PUBLISHER revenue want at any mid to long term cost ... is it the publishers scrambling for revenue as the online display growth starts to slow and search makes more inroads into the big dollar agency clients? This performance approach seems very immediate term - and in terms of the users you have to wonder whether over time there will be pressure to place more ads on pages ... to push more revenue per PI ... and whether users will desert and move to cleaner pastures ... just like they did with search 7-8 years ago when millions embraced Google.