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Right Media, an online ad exchange that Yahoo acquired in 2007, is having some serious technical hiccups, sources within the online ad world tell us. This is leading to problems with capacity and latency. Think messaging service Twitter and its formerly-frequent use of the Fail Whale, but instead of not being able to see what everyone is doing for happy hour, people are losing real dollars on real ad investments.

I’ve heard that when serving ads, Right Media clients have been experience latency in the range of 400 to 1200 milliseconds, which is about four to twelve times higher than the 100 ms norm. While this may not seem like much, there’s plenty of research showing that latency leads to real revenue loss. Amazon found its sales dropped by 1 percent for every 100 ms of latency, while Google saw its traffic drop by 20 percent after their search page had just 500 ms of increased wait.

When asked to comment by VentureBeat, Yahoo responded:

“Right Media has quickly become the leading exchange platform for advertisers, publishers and networks, and as a result, we have experienced tremendous growth.  As with all rapid growth, we’ve also faced some recent performance issues with latency of ad serving.  We deeply regret the impact this may have had on our customer’s businesses.  Our highly experienced team has been in contact with affected customers during this time and we are in the process of resolving these issues.  Right Media is committed to enhancing the platform and to providing all of our customers with quality service, support and performance.”

Emily Riley, a senior analyst at Jupiter Research who worked at advertising.com for five years, thinks that Yahoo! may have taken its eyes off the ball while trying to get its new advertising platform AMP! out the door. “With Yahoo testing the new AMP product, their eyes are not maintenance but on new development,” she said. “It’s possible they should focus back to maintenance and stabilization of their main product in the short term.”

Has anyone using Right Media been experiencing these problems? Feel free to leave a comment, or send me an email: jake.swearingen (at) gmail.com.

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