What Does Doubleclick Do?

Here's an old New York Times article (from 1999!) that explains what Doubleclick does.

One of the challenges in internet advertising is to put the right ad on the right site at the right time. If you're an advertiser, you need to buy advertising on every site you think is worthwhile, and then put the ad on the right site at the right time (on the internet, the same page can display different ads to different people at different times, depending on who is viewing the page). That's a lot of work. For an advertiser, it's much easier to buy space on one site such as, and reach millions of viewers.

Doubleclick helps owners of web sites (publishers) to compete by creating networks of web sites. That gives marketers the opportunity to sign one deal with Doubleclick. Doubleclick then places ads on the many different sites in the network. Placing ads on web sites is called "ad serving."

Doubleclick takes a slice of the publishers' ad income - as much as 30%, according to the article. For that fee, Doubleclick handles all of the tedious interactions with advertisers: sending them reports on how well their ads are doing, placing ads on sites, figuring out ad pricing. Doubleclick is also an advertising sales force that sells ad space on its client sites to marketers and media buyers. Doubleclick offers economies of scale and scope. One salesperson can sell ads on hundreds of sites in one visit to a marketer. Individual publishers would need to have their own salesforce travel the world to replicate that sales effort, which would be much more expensive than sharing the cost of the sales effort across many publishers.

Doubleclick developed a technology to place ads and report on ad performance, called DART, which stands for Dynamic Advertising Reporting and Targeting system.

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