eBay has pulled the plug on Media Marketplace, a controversial pilot program designed to buy and sell radio and TV advertising on the Internet. The Internet auction house confirmed the closure of the program after one year with the brief message: "We have ended our pilot program in this market."
The system got off to a rocky start, receiving little support from the cable network industry and none at all from the broadcast networks, according to a report in AdWeek. The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau refused to endorse the system, and only a few of its members--notably Oxygen and Ion--participated in the system. Many complained the system commoditized television ad time.
Last October, eBay officials issued a statement saying, "We've been disappointed by the lack of broad engagement by cable networks. This has caused the initial testing to be slower than expected."
While eBay has abandoned its efforts in selling cable TV ads spots, the company has been working with Bid4Spots on a separate service for selling radio ad time. A notice on the Media Marketplace page urges users to go to Bid4Spots.com for service.