I recently saw that the IAB produced a video and a new site called http://www.iamthelongtail.com, which highlights some of the stories behind the estimated 1.2 million websites that support themselves through advertising. Personally, I really found the video very inspiring. Many of these ‘long tail’ publishers have very loyal, niche audiences. The publishers themselves care very deeply about their subject matter and produce quality content. Their visitors trust the sites enough to return again and again. However, these same publishers are often not recognized as quality sources of ad inventory by many media planners in the industry. Granted, they aren’t household names like CNN. And they often don’t have the critical mass that many media planners need in order to invest their time executing a buy. However, I’d like to point out that many ad networks, including SpotXchange, enable advertisers to sponsor these sites in a transparent manner with surprising ease and effectiveness. And often, these same ad networks provide incredibly sophisticated targeting and optimization tools to manage campaigns on these types of sites. Ad networks – love ’em or hate ’em, they do serve a purpose for all parties involved. I’m hoping that was the point of the IAB producing this video.