Josh Catone has written an interesting post on ReadWriteWeb which discusses Ask’s plans for an AdSense alternative.
Ask.com will reportedly be launching an Adsense competitor to all web publishers by the end of the year. This, I think, is an area that Google dominates which is currently ripe for competition (more so than search). Google’s service isn’t great (the most glaring check against them, in the eyes of publishers, is their lack of transparency — they don’t disclose how much of the ad revenue is being shared), and publishers are always willing to try out a new service to see if it makes them more money. And Google would take a serious hit in the pocketbook if a powerful competitor emerged. Yahoo! has its own competing service, the Yahoo! Publisher Network, but it is currently in the middle of a long beta roll-out, and thus far has not gained enough traction to be called a major competitor.
You just touched my favorite topic, Josh. I wrote Giving Up on AdSense earlier, and have been on a quest for alternatives … Adify looks promising. My guess is, Time Warner will come up with an Ad Network, and will establish relationships with good bloggers.
I would LOVE to see Ask create yet another alternative along these lines, and have been encouraging the YPN guys to go after the opportunity aggressively as well.