A quick taste:
The question comes down to Long Tail economics in a mass audience world. How can a small, but strong “niche” site, get paid for its pageviews without assuming the massive cost structure of its own salesforce and ad ops team?
How can a mass site move its unsold remainder inventory without devaluing itself?
Egads, the truth shall walk up and punch you in the kidneys…
I’m on the bandwagon, once you start running ads from the bottom of the barrel, you’ve devalued your entire inventory. I’ve had advertisers cancel, only to show up almost right away as banners out of Adsense (they got banned…) and I’ve heard kvetching about brands getting mixed in with the bozos.
The big problem is that few niche communities do it all well. And the one area many of us miss is ad sales. That’s why many niche communties are chucking in the towel and taking on real media partners, or aligning with domainers who have the ad staff to monetize their sites.
Is it time for a quality boutique ad sales network for niche sites? Probably, but the logistics will be tough…