Despite Long Tail Predictions for Online Ads, Top 10 Get 72% of Revenue, AdAge

Despite the talk about how the democratizing web has opened a brave new long tail (coined by Wired Editor Chris Anderson) world for Internet ad dollars, the top 10 companies online accounted for 72% of all interactive ad revenue last year, up from 71% in 2004, according to Interactive Advertising Bureau's analysis of revenue by company size, reports AdAge in "The Short Tail: Big Players Still Dominate Online Ad Sales". 

Similar to the TV's Big Four environment, the online world has turned into the Big Four of its own - Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL  - dwarfing other online players. According to the IAB numbers, the top 5 account for more than half of all spending. 

Gokul Rajarum, Google AdSense product manager, found that the top half of the tail has more than doubled from 2,000 sites to 4,000 since November 2003, making more room on the other end in the wake of blogs and community sites.

But some companies are looking to even the playing field. One of those is Quantcast, which is able to measure site demographics more deeply by using a pixel technology that tracks what visitors frequent online. Another player HitTail is trying to help the small site owners to leverage long tail in natural search.

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