Not many people are discussing the emergence and potential implications of so-called “exchanges” (NYSE analogy) for the buying and selling of online ads. But BusinessWeek does a reasonably good overview story on Right Media. AdECN is Right Media’s chief competition. I think this is a very interesting subject.
Right now ads are bought and sold through relatively closed proprietary networks, without much “liquidity.” In some cases, sites, such as online newspapers, turn to ad networks to fill inventory they can’t sell. With the exchanges, the idea is to create a broader, more open and liquid market across the Internet for CPM/display advertising, right now in the “non-premium” categories (you can sell your own premium ad inventory presumably).
If you buy the stock market analogy, then of course these exchanges will rise and be the way ads (display and possibly video) are bought and sold eventually. They will likely replace some of the existing ad networks.
Broader networks/exchanges such as Right Media could offer a solution to the problem of monetizing local consumer sites without a sales force or effective channel partners. Right now this would be limited to CPM inventory and national advertisers. But eventually local sales channels could potentially bring all types of advertisers (and inventory) to the exchanges for broader local distribution (right now this is all being done via business development).