Openads: An Alternative to Google Ad Hegemony?

Openads, an open-source ad server, just got $5 million in funding. Since the company’s been around for years, one might wonder if this is simply an opportunistic play on the recent consolidation in online ad serving and ad networks—Google-DoubleClick, Microsoft-aQuantive, Yahoo!-Right Media.

But some folks who know more than I think it can be much more than that. Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 thinks Openads could help publishers take back some control of their online ads. I’m especially intrigued with Jeff Jarvis’ musings:

And if I’m not projecting too much onto Openads, then I think we see more building blocks in the new infrastructure of the web. Google is the infrastructure of search and information — and, for now, advertising. YouTube wants to be the platform for video and video ads. Facebook wants to be the social infrastructure. Openads could be the ad infrastructure. It’s all still loose — the Jell-O is yet warm — but we can start to see a structure forming.

Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets.