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In the early 19th century, the United States was swamped with Newspapers. The job of getting together a large list of newspapers to run an ad was immensely time consuming and often counterproductive for it could be more expensive than the cost of the space itself. So, in 1841 Volney B. Palmer opened up an agency in Philadelphia to represent newspapers wishing to sell space. For his service Palmer charged the papers 25% of their space rate. At the time, advertisers had no idea what the publishers were charging, only what the rates were according to the agent (who set the price). Later, as publishers rates became public knowledge, it necessitated an evolution from the agency’s initial role as wholesaler of advertising to agent of advertiser in order to justify commissions based on the service of ‘how, not where, to advertise’.

Nonetheless, aggregating inventory and making it seamless and easy to sell to advertisers is, like, 200 years old…

Now, we have “Supply Side Platforms”. Only this time it not 5000-6000 newspapers, but 50-60,000 websites. You see, the Silicon Valley slicky’s saw the marketing industry was ripe for a re-boot and not stopping there, began christening all the old stuff with their new digital magic wand:

On measurement…

Madison Ave – Nielsen

Silicon Valley – healthy third party ecosystem of trusted independent solutions for driving and measuring marketing performance


On Accountability…

Madison Avenue: post

AdTech: in depth strategic knowledge asset


On being counted…

Madison Avenue: average quarter hour

AdTech: Average Duration of Video Viewed (now called Average Watch Time)


On Advertisements….

Madison Avenue: Commercial (or Spot)

AdTech: Asset


On the annual sales expo:

Madison Avenue: Upfronts

AdTech: Newfronts (and God help us now, The PlayFronts)


On Impressions…

Madison Avenue: CPM

AdTech: A measurement of responses from an ad delivery system to an ad request from the user’s browser, which is filtered from robotic activity and is recorded at a point as late as possible in the process of delivery of the creative material to the user’s browser


……beginning to see a pattern here?