After selling its premium advertising inventory, the 63 companies that used to make up Barry Diller's IAC sell the remnants to third-party ad networks, which pay $1 or $1.50 per thousand pagviews. Not a great business. In an effort to boost those CPMs nearer to $6, IAC will from now on instead pool the inventory from the 63 companies and then divide it up based on advertiser-friendly demographics. AdAge reports that IAC will define its wealthy users, for example, as
those who researched expensive restaurants on Citysearch, declared incomes of $100,000-plus on Match.com, bought tickets to the symphony via Ticketmaster, browsed $700,000 homes on RealEstate.com or searched for luxury products on Gifts.com.
Web companies are obsessed with this kind of demographic slicing and dicing in an effort to convince advertisers that it doesn't matter what kind of content they put their ads against, so long as the audience looking at that content is the one they want to reach. Some might say that after precision accountability, demographic-based targeting is the Internet's greatest promise. So far, advertisers seem to prefer putting their ads against quality content.