Google is facing a number of challenges to its domination of online ad sales and now Penry Price, one of its most senior ad executives, is leaving to be president of Media6Degrees, founded by another former Googler Tom Phillips in 2007.
Instead of targeting individuals, Media6Degrees tracks trends and relationships in big data sets. “We take the customers of a brand and use a massive array of mapping data to figure out where the customers of a brand are clustering on the web, where they show up disproportionately to a random audience,” founder Phillips says. ” What we’re doing has the potential to fundamentally change the way large marketers think about their brand.”
Price was head of global agency sales and partnerships, charged with maximizing the amount of advertising sales dollars that the largest global ad agencies spend on Google search, display and YouTube. He leaves on Wednesday, which suggests that Google takes Media6Degrees rather seriously.
The company, which employs 80 people, raised a further $17m in financing in December. Although still a minnow its object of reaching big groups of consumers quicker than Google currently does is likely to put it high up the agendas of the big marcoms companies like WPP, Omnicom and Publicis Groupe who are desperate not to allow the likes of Google to dominate the market for internet marketing and media tools.