As a simple, clean ad network focused on independent websites, The Deck may have seemed like a bit of a throwback — and indeed, in his blog post announcing the shutdown, founder Jim Coudal tied the network’s fate to broader changes in the online ad landscape:
Things change. In 2014, display advertisers started concentrating on large, walled, social networks. The indie “blogosphere” was disappearing. Mobile impressions, which produce significantly fewer clicks and engagements, began to really dominate the market. Invasive user tracking (which we refused to do) and all that came with that became pervasive, and once again The Deck was back to being a pretty good business. By 2015, it was an OK business and, by the second half of 2016, the network was beginning to struggle again.
Since its founding in 2006, the network served “somewhere north of 7.5 billion ad impressions,” according to its website.
Sad to see the Deck disappear. A link to a different kind of web.
— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) March 29, 2017