Self-Service TV Advertising

Just while I thought that The Long Tail would kill all forms of traditional media, Spotrunner has found ways of utilizing The Long Tail to resurrect this (dying?) medium.
It's quite difficult to imagine how a company can provide a link between a huge number of medium to small (and they have big) advertisers, with highly localized TV networks and stations. But this is exactly what they are doing.spotrunner
First, the cost of producing the TV ad (which is usually outrageously high) is considerably reduced by providing generic customizable templates. These are premaid ads for certain industries. If you, as an advertiser, see that they represent your business and are suitable for your campaign, they can customize the ad for you. This is done through adding a new voice-over, and inserting your contact information. There is also the option of adding certain images if needed. Advertiser would not want their ads to be shown by other advertisers, you may think. This is true, but when it is a localized ad, there is no problem in showing in another part of the country where audiences don't watch the same networks.
Spotrunner can get you lower prices, because they usually go for the spots that are not sold, where the TV network can sell them at a low prices, sometimes as low as $18.
Network effects are the only that will improve this service. If a large-enough number of people start using it, and enriching the history of usage, this system should be great. A great suggestion by Mashable was to open up the video library for video producers, so they can participate with their video commercials. They will want to promote their work, and of course get paid for it, and Spotrunner will have free additions to its vast library.
If this is implemented well, it will open up new huge markets not only for amateurs with a good taste, but for professional film / commercial makers as well. The ultimate perfect state would be to become a platform for producers and consumers of TV ads where they can both login in a self service manner, and manage their work from. This would be wonderful to watch, and it would be a true Web 2.0 application, although most of it is not for the web, it will be a great model that uses web 2.0 by linking online and offline media together.
Spotrunner managed to attract some serious investors, and therefore a lot of media coverage (WPP and CBS among others). They also announced in October 2006 that they managed to attract $40 Million in investment. Looks really cool.