announced online advertising agreement between Microsoft and Viacom (a former DoubleClick top customer) indicates that the neutrality issue does not seem that relevant: MSN and MSNBC are major competitors of Viacom and its online media.
Therefore, it appears that both large and small competitors are able to exert a
While there are numerous ad serving rivals, switching between ad serving suppliers entails some costs. Switching platforms involves three major steps, which are the training of personnel, the deployment (including re-tagging) and the post deployment transition.
The perception of the switching process in terms of time and cost varies significantly throughout the market players. Some consider switching to be a straightforward process. Others put forward that switching may represent a non insignificant cost for publishers and advertisers (re-tagging web pages, need to transfer past data from the former system to the new one, training of personnel). It has to be noted that such contradictory statements were indistinctly made by publishers or competitors irrespective of their size (for advertisers, the switch is considered simpler as they usually use several ad serving providers). Nevertheless, such switches may represent a non insignificant cost for some publishers and advertisers. The market investigation has identified some relevant switching costs.
Publishers have to re-tag web pages, which could be a time consuming task
depending on the number of sites involved, the number of pages with tags and whether the sites use a content management system. Replacement can be done manually or through an automated process. Manually, customers replace their tags by searching HTML files to text strings representing their tool provider ad tags and replacing them with new tags. Through a content management system, the publisher can replace the tags automatically thus reducing time considerably84.
Transfer of data
Advertisers may need to transfer past data from one system to the other.
However, an insignificant proportion of DoubleClick’s customers – under 1% – have actually required migration of ads historical delivery data when they switched from DoubleClick to a competing ad server (and DoubleClick does not migrate historical delivery data from new advertiser-side or publisher-side ad serving customers onto its ad serving products). However, publishers that seek to
For instance, when assisting […]*(formerly […]*) in replacing tags on twelve […]* portal sites that serve various European countries, the use by DoubleClick of the […]* content management system allowed replacing the tags on all portals in less than four hours.