Peter Caputa gets it.
Aggregators are going to succeed with the Long Tail, but in the long run it’s the companies that control the platforms and marketplaces that are headed for the most success. Not to say that aggregators aren’t important, it can be a nice business to be a small network of “affiliates” plugged into a platform, I see it in action every day.
In regards to this paragraph I would make one change:
Right now, CPC is the ad network du jour. Eventually, it’ll be just as easy for an affiliate to join CPM, CPL and CPA networks. Or the CPM-CPA balancing act might all be managed through one network.
His one network link goes to my post about our new linking feature in Yield Manager. My correction would be that Yield Manager is really one platform or marketplace, instead of just being one network. That’s a key point, because one network alone, even a network as large as Adsense, can’t fully monetize the affiliate/publisher’s inventory as well as a platform with multiple networks and advertisers. To cover the long tail, you need more than what one network’s advertisers can provide. It’s not something Google wants to hear, but it’s something I witness every day.