‘Online Advertising’ Category Archive

November 20th

Should Newspaper Companies Get Out Of The Newspaper Business?

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Forget the bailout. I have a great new business model for Detroit automakers. Sell Toyotas and Hondas. Detroit already has the dealer networks. There’s great demand for Japanese cars. In fact, Detroit could retool all of their manufacturing plants to make Toyotas and Hondas. That proposal is similar to one put forth for newspaper companies […]

November 18th

Hulu to Match YouTube’s Revenue: Ten Observations For The Future of Media

by  |   12 Comments

An analyst at Screen Digest estimates that in “2008 YouTube will generate about $100m in the US, compared to about $70m at Hulu. Next year both sites will generate about $180m in the US.” That’s very significant because YouTube had 83m unique viewers in the US in September, while Hulu only had 6m. Here, in […]

September 22nd

Why Isn’t Facebook Making More Money? (Hint: Advertiser Value and User Value Are Not Aligned)

by  |   20 Comments

I happened to visit Facebook’s Business Solutions page, and was struck by how, at least on the surface, these advertising formats seem like exactly the kind of innovation that should be helping Facebook achieve Goolge-style revenue — which is of course what Facebook’s $15 billion valuation assumes will happen. And yet with 100 MILLION users, […]

September 17th

Advertiser Online Now, Get a Free Ad In Print

by  |   7 Comments

Just saw this house ad on NYTimes.com: A print ad offered as added value for online advertising. Now THAT’S a reversal. Here’s more:

June 4th

Dear Advertiser: Your Ad Sucks!

by  |   5 Comments

Why is Google transcendent and Yahoo a takeover target? Compare the following: Sue Decker, president of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO), addressed the advertising industry during a keynote this morning at the 2008 Advertising 2.0 New York conference. “Yahoo! is helping to accelerate the transformation of how display advertising is both bought and sold,” Decker told the […]

May 24th

Why Traditional Advertising Formats Fail On The Web

by  |   46 Comments

As media companies struggle to figure out their digital future, the elephant in the room is that they have only been able to monetize online audiences for pennies on the dollar compared to traditional media. Here’s why: Traditional advertising formats FAIL on the web. By traditional advertising formats, I mean display ads, video ads, and […]

May 12th

The Challenge Of Non-Local Newspaper Advertising

by  |   9 Comments

Newspaper brands like the NEW YORK Times, WASHINGTON Post, BOSTON Globe, etc. face a unique challenge in the online media age — how to value non-local readers. I received this offer in the snail mail this week from the New York Times: As I observed previously with my critique of the Washington Post’s circulation marketing, […]

April 23rd

The Future Of Online Advertising: Entertainment vs. Information

by  |   19 Comments

There are two principal ways advertisers are trying to create value for consumers on the web — and they must create value because, you know, consumers are in control. On the web, advertisers can provide entertainment or information. How effective is advertising as information on the web? See Google’s $15B in ad revenue — an […]

February 27th

Why It’s Good News If Google Is Vulnerable To A Recession

by  |   7 Comments

Tech bloggers and analysts had a collective cow yesterday over the news that January 2008 comScore data suggest clicks on Google’s paid search ads have stopped growing, which implies that Google may be vulnerable to a US recession already underway. Fred Wilson had a sober reflection on why he stands behind his (albeit ill-timed) purchase […]

February 25th

Microsoft Announces Engagement Mapping ROI Black Box, Technology Companies Taking Over Advertising Industry

by  |   9 Comments

Microsoft announced today that they are going after the holy grail of advertising: integrated ROI measurement and tracking. The big problem with online ROI measurement that Microsoft is targeting is the inability to assign quantifiable value to brand advertising, e.g. banner ads, and which results in disproportionate value being assigned to search advertising — the […]

January 27th

WSJ.com Remains A Paid Site And Bets On The Value Of Its Niche Audience

by  |   3 Comments

Of all the reasons given why Rupert Murdoch decided to keep the WSJ.com paid subscriber wall in place, the one that I find most interesting is that advertisers are willing to pay a premium for WSJ.com’s audience. If the WSJ went free, it would undoubtedly increase its audience substantially, but how valuable would those new […]

December 27th

What Is The ROI Of Requiring User Registration To Access Online Content?

by  |   23 Comments

I somehow got logged out of my NYTimes.com registration and just hit the registration wall when I tried to read an article — I almost forgot it was there. Which made me wonder, now that the TimesSelect pay wall is gone, what the real ROI of this registration wall is for the New York Times […]

December 19th

Online and Print Ad Sales: Time to Cut the Cord

by  |   19 Comments

I can’t count the number of times I’ve listened to print publishers debate whether to use a dedicated online sales staff or use what Borrell Associates calls “convergence sales,” in the report 2008 Local Online Outlook: Convergence Era Ends, Stand-Alone Sales Skyrocket. “Convergence” means, in the worst (all too common case), print sales reps tacking […]

December 7th

Can Books Have Ads? YES

by  |   9 Comments

It seems that everything that can command consumer attention — websites, software applications, social networking, video games, reality TV — is being monetized through advertising. So why not books? Especially in dynamic digital formats? Tim O’Reilly argues no:

September 19th

Who’s Afraid of Online Advertising?

by  |   13 Comments

A new McKinsey & Co. report called “ How Companies Are Marketing Online” draws the astonishing conclusion that many advertisers are reluctant to shift dollars online — despite the massive shift of consumer attention online — because of the “absence of meaningful metrics and adequate capabilities.”

August 22nd

YouTube’s New InVideo Ad Format Is Not Google AdWords

by  |   9 Comments

The new YouTube InVideo ad format is big news not because the format is new — Google has been testing the format for a while, and other sites like VideoEgg have used it. It’s big news because the ad format is being rolled out on YouTube’s massively scaled video site — kind of reminiscent of […]

August 8th

It’s Easier For Advertising To Create Value With Information Than With Entertainment

by  |   9 Comments

Nielsen asked 1,000 consumers on its new “engagement” panel if they could recall any TV commercials they had seen — only one third of them could. In contrast, 79% could recall at least one TV show. This is not the least bit surprising because traditional TV advertising creates NO value for consumers in the moment […]

August 6th

Publicis/Digitas On All-Digital Advertising, Outsourcing, and Competing with Google Yahoo Microsoft

by  |   10 Comments

Kudos to Publicis Groupe and Digitas for imagining an all-digital advertising future, for planning to solve the deep structural problems of advertising 2.0, and for not sitting still while Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft take over the advertising industry. The most provocative idea to emerge from the New York Times profile of Publicis/Digitas’ digital advertising strategy […]

August 1st

MSNBC.com Launches Vertical Ad Networks With Pulse 360 To Compete With Major Ad Networks

by  |   5 Comments

Small publishers shouldn’t envy large publishers like MSNBC.com — the portals are selling out of their best inventory and losing out to ad networks that can mint more premium inventory by signing up more publishers. But MSNBC.com is betting it can beat ad networks at their own game by launching its own vertical ad networks […]

July 26th

Online Publishers Need To Stop Selling Space

by  |   36 Comments

I wrote a long post trying to explain why the page view/CPM model for valuing online media is so problematic, particularly for traditional media companies like newspapers that are trying to transition their business models online. But Jordan Bitterman of Digitas summed it up in two sentences (in a Fortune piece about future of the […]

July 26th

New York Times Continues To Conceal Decline In Print Advertising Revenue

by  |   6 Comments

I’m picking on the New York Times because they are the 11th largest “audience aggregator” on the Web, but many newspapers and other traditional media companies are similarly using strength in their digital operations to conceal weakness in their legacy businesses. Here’s an example of the consequences of such “obfuscation” from MediaPost’s coverage of the […]

July 25th

Page Views And CPMs Are Suppressing Online Advertising Growth and Innovation

by  |   16 Comments

The page view may be dead, but page views are still the currency for online display advertising, with most display ads still being bought on the basis of CPM, or cost per thousand ad impressions — and impressions are a function of page views. The problem is that the page view-driven online advertising economy is […]

July 25th

The Underground Web Economy

by  |   9 Comments

I tried to visit TechCrunch.com this morning and instead ended up here: As much as we focus on the Web economy that operates in the sunshine, e.g. advertising on TechCrunch, there’s an entire economy that operates “underground,” e.g. pay-per-click ads on domain typo sites.

July 24th

Improving Online Display Ad Relevancy: Interview With TACODA’s Larry Allen

by  |   8 Comments

Following up on my post about the poor state of online ad relevancy, I’ve been digging deeper with some of the companies that are working to improve that state, which lead to the following interview with Larry Allen, SVP, Business Development and Marketing at TACODA. Believe it or not, we completed this interview before the […]

July 17th

Newspaper Online vs. Print Ad Revenue: The 10% Problem

by  |   32 Comments

How will newspapers shift their business center of gravity online the same way most have shifted their audience center of gravity? That is the question keeping every newspaper executive awake at night. Bill Keller, the New York Times Executive Editor and excellent editorial emissary, made the following comment in an interview: But the Web audience […]

July 16th

Washington Post’s LoudounExtra.com Isn’t Yet Hyperlocal Enough

by  |   20 Comments

On the heels of hyperlocal pioneer Backfence shutting down, the Washington Post has launched its own hyperlocal experiment — LoudounExtra.com, a site dedicated to Loudoun County, a suburb of Washington, DC. (Thanks to Hashim for the tip.) It so happens I live in Loudoun County, and with that context, here’s my first take — LoudounExtra.com […]

July 15th

The Poor State Of Online Display Advertising Relevancy

by  |   18 Comments

I was on the New York Times site just now and was a bit freaked out when I glanced at the adjacent ad: I live in Leesburg, and the ad knows this. What struck me is that I was “freaked out” even though I understand the geo-targeting technology that makes this kind of customized ad […]

July 15th

New Online Advertising Models: The Scalability Problem

by  |   5 Comments

Search advertising is probably the most scalable advertising platform in the history of advertising and marketing. But ten years into the promise of the web and new media to transform advertising into an ROI-driven marketing engine, the success of keyword-driven pay-per-click text ads is the exception, not the rule. The problem is scalability.

July 13th

Is Google Search Advertising Deceptive?

by  |   2 Comments

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is suing Google for deceptive advertising practices. I don’t know if the suit has legal merit, but it puts the spotlight on Google’s advertising formats (which are used by most search engines) and, given that this is a government suit, raises significant questions about commonly accepted search advertising practices:

July 9th

Nielsen Replaces Page View Ranking With Time Spent, Swaps One Problematic Metric For Another

by  |   31 Comments

Nielsen took a big step towards accelerating the death of the page view by announcing it would rank websites by time spend on the site instead. But time spent is an equally problematic metric that assumes that more is better, which isn’t the case with web applications designed for efficiency, like Google search.

July 3rd

Ebay Free Classified Ad Site Kijiji Is Another Huge Blow To Newspapers

by  |   21 Comments

Poor newspapers. Their cash cow service, classified ads, is probably about to break a record for facing more competition from free services than any other in the history of paid services. Faceboook recently piled on to the Craigslist disruption of the newspaper classified market with a free classifieds marketplace. Now eBay has launched a free […]

July 2nd

Yahoo SmartAds Tackles Online Display Advertising’s Customization Problem

by  |   7 Comments

Yahoo has launched an advertising platform called SmartAds, which allows display ads to be customized “on the fly” based on a user’s behavioral profile, taking a significant step towards the long-promised but thus far poorly-delivered paradigm of total customization for online display ads.

July 2nd

How Can MySpace Beat Facebook At Its Own Game?

by  |   2 Comments

By Robert Young Late last week, the Financial Times reported that MySpace was likely to respond to Facebook’s much-hyped F8 Platform initiative with its own third-party application/widget development program. Last week also brought forth an interesting debate, initiated by Jason Kottke via his aptly titled post “Facebook is the new AOL”, questioning whether the Facebook […]

June 27th

What Will Burst The TV Advertising Bubble?

by  |   6 Comments

Why does TV advertising continue to do well in the face of declining viewership and transcendent online video? Here are some examples of the typically contradictory reports that make it so difficult to get a handle on what’s really going on (bold is mine):

June 26th

Ad Platforms vs. Ad Networks: Who Controls The Advertiser Relationship?

by  |   15 Comments

Time Inc. has selected Quigo to provide an Adwords-like platform for bidding on pay-per-click text ads across all Time Inc. sites. Quigo will replace Google AdSense network and Yahoo Publisher Network, which currently serve pay-per-click ads from advertisers that buy ads in Google’s and Yahoo’s centralized search advertising marketplace. What distinguishes the Quigo platform is […]

June 15th

Is New York Times Print Ad Revenue Declining By Double Digit Percentage?

by  |   14 Comments

If I were in a shareholder of a newspaper or any print based media company, I’d be demanding that financial reporting breakout the absolute amount of print and online revenue, rather than concealing the actual amount by which increasing online ad revenue is offsetting decreasing print ad revenue — or rather the degree to which […]

June 13th

Can Online Publishers Take Back Control From Ad Networks?

by  |   20 Comments

If the future of advertising is online, many companies, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and WPP, are betting that the future of online advertising is in ad networks, i.e. centralized platforms for the buying and selling ads, where the company that controls the network controls the sale and the flow of revenue to the publisher. This […]

June 13th

Is A Sponsor Post A Legitimate Ad Unit?

by  |   14 Comments

Is there a difference between a blog advertiser posting their own content in a clearly labeled sponsor post (i.e. NOT written by the blogger), which is allowed to appear in the RSS feed like an editorial post, and a format like PayPerPost, where bloggers write in their own editorial voice about an advertiser’s product or […]

June 11th

Should Newspapers Compete With Local TV Stations For Online Video Advertising?

by  |   9 Comments

As newspapers struggle to transform themselves into digital media publishers, many have begun to produce online video, in some cases going head-to-head with local TV stations for traditional newscasting. Newspapers have struggled with the transition to digital because classified ads, their cash cow, are available for free online, and because they can’t command the same […]

June 4th

Google Is An Ad Agency Competing With Madison Avenue

by  |   10 Comments

What does an ad agency do? It brokers ad sales, right? So is Google an ad agency? I mean in the traditional sense of being the middle man between advertisers and media companies, not as a media company selling ads directly, as Google does with AdWords. You tell me:

June 1st

It’s Official: Google Has Acquired Feedburner And It’s All About Metrics And Advertising ROI

by  |   8 Comments

FeedBurner just quietly posted to their site the official announcement that Google has indeed acquired Feedburner. Here’s what CEO Dick Costolo has to say about why it’s such a great fit (which it really is):

May 29th

Advertising Trend Ratio: A New Metric For Publishers

by  |   10 Comments

Publishers trying to manage rising online ad revenue against declining print ad revenue are looking at the wrong metrics. Instead of looking at the advertising trends in silos and comparing percentage increases and decreases, they should be looking at the relationship between absolute increases and decreases in ad revenue over time. For this purpose I’ve […]

May 25th

AOL Targets Premium Brand Advertisers By Running Fewer Ads

by  |   2 Comments

AOL announced a strategy to increase ad revenue by reducing clutter in order to attract higher CPM ads, i.e. they’re going run fewer ads (via MediaPost):

May 24th

Software Is Media And Microsoft Is Now A Media Company

by  |   2 Comments

Google may be forever denying that it is a media company (and an ad agency), but Microsoft is embracing the transformation of software into media and the overall convergence of media and technology. Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s senior vice president and chief advertising strategist, said in reference to denying rumors of a Microsoft acquisition of Yahoo […]

May 24th

How Well Is Time Inc Managing The Transition To Digital?

by  |   1 Comment

Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore spoke yesterday at a Magazine Publishers of America event and gave evidence that Time Inc. is having some success in digital media — but she gave no evidence (at least none cited in the Ad Age coverage) that this success is compensating for challenges faced by the legacy print business:

May 23rd

The Disruptive Shift Of Ad Spending From Offline to Online

by  |   6 Comments

Every media company is positioning itself to benefit from the increasing shift of ad dollars from offline media to online and digital media, but in many cases ad dollars aren’t moving online in a 1-to-1 ratio. That’s why newspapers, for example, still get 80-90% of ad revenue from print, an artifact of monopoly pricing that […]

May 20th

Will The Gaming Of Open Ad Systems Slow The Growth Of Online Advertising?

by  |   4 Comments

Google has so many conflicts of interest, e.g. delivering the highest quality “organic” search results vs. tolerating high ranking sites that clearly have no purpose other than to make money from Google AdSense (i.e. “made for AdSense” sites). There’s also pay-per-click arbitrage, where someone buys keywords in Google AdWords in order to send users to […]

May 19th

What Is The Value Of Online Display Ads?

by  |   6 Comments

Now that Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and WPP have spent collectively $10.4 billion to acquire the largest online display ad platform companies (DoubleClick, Right Media, aQuantive, and 24/7 Real Media) on the bet that display ads will be a key driver of growth for online ad spending, it’s fair to ask exactly what the value of […]

May 18th

The New Vertically Integrated Media And Advertising Companies

by  |   30 Comments

It’s clear now that the media and advertising industries, which thanks to Google and Web 2.0 now include the software industry, will be dominated by a new breed of company — the vertically integrated media and advertising company. Google’s AdWords created a new model by combining a media company — Google’s search results and its […]

May 17th

WPP Acquires 24/7 Real Media To Compete With Google And Yahoo

by  |   18 Comments

I saw one of Google’s “agency relationship managers” give a pitch to a top agency, where she gave the standard line that Google doesn’t want to be an ad agency. I didn’t believe it for a second. And neither does WPP, one of the top agency holding companies, which just announced the acquisition of 24/7 […]

May 16th

Could Gaming Social Media Sites Be A Legitimate Form Of Online Advertising?

by  |   10 Comments

Social media marketing, i.e. promoting content through social media sites like Digg has become a cottage industry. Digg and other “audience as editor” sites have fought tooth and nail against gaming, trying to keep marketing content from receiving the same homepage attention as “editorial content,” i.e. content voted up by the community without marketer influence. […]

April 14th

Google Acquired DoubleClick To Create A People-Driven Advertising Platform

by  |   29 Comments

I sat in on a presentation by a Google rep to a New York agency — it was a big, wet sloppy kiss. Here was Google, king of impersonal, self-serve online ad efficiency up to its eyeballs in gooey “relationship building.” It’s no accident that Google’s New York office has more humans than servers. This […]

April 12th

Watershed Moments In The Publishing Industry’s Radical Transformation

by  |   9 Comments

Here are some watershed moments that mark the radical transformation of the publishing industry to a non-print-centric business: 1. New York Times becomes an aggregator The New York Times, paper of record and one of the last great bastions of the belief that one entity can create all the content that anyone needs, has finally […]

April 5th

Craigslist Openness vs. Newspaper Trust

by  |   11 Comments

If Craigslist is killing the newspaper classified business, then it appears that newspapers’ real missed opportunity may be in failing to provide a sufficiently conducive environment for seeking and selling sex and love. Reading this analysis by Compete was one of those Doh! Of course! moments (and, as a commenter on the Compete post points […]

April 4th

The Battle For Control Of The Media Marketplace

by  |   10 Comments

Let’s play connect the dots with a number of recent announcements that together reveal the real battleground for the future of media: Doubleclick announces that it is setting up a “a Nasdaq-like exchange for the buying and selling of digital advertisements” Google announces that it is extending its AdWords marketplace to TV AOL announces that […]

April 3rd

Google’s Core Competency Does Not Translate To Offline Media — But That May Work To Google’s Advantage

by  |   8 Comments

What is Google’s core competency? I would argue that it’s harvesting the value from massively scaled, complex human activity, i.e. millions of websites linking to each other and hundreds of thousands of advertisers bidding on key word and experimenting with ad creative, clickthrough rates, and conversion rates. The other critical element of this core competency […]

March 20th

Can Google Transform The Entire Web Into A Direct Marketing Machine?

by  |   44 Comments

As anticipated, Google has launched a “cost-per-action” advertising program that allows advertisers to pay only for specific results, such as a sale, lead, sign-up, etc. Andy Beal thinks this is a threat to online affiliate marketing, and surely it is. But Aaron Wall’s comment jumped out at me: If they push this as hard as […]

March 17th

Why Online Advertising Economics Are So Messed Up

by  |   53 Comments

We’ve all heard that page views are dying. Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed pointed out a few weeks ago the problem with scaling an online advertising business based on revenue per thousand page views, an analysis which has now been picked up by the Dan Mitchell at the NYT. Jeremy’s analysis is correct, on one level, […]

March 5th

Media Meditation: What Is The Value Of YouTube In 2007?

by  |   4 Comments

Here’s a koan for everyone in media: YouTube had revenue of $15 million is 2006; what is the value of YouTube in 2007? If you’re not familiar with koans, this is from Wikipedia: A kō·an is a story, dialogue, question, or statement in the history and lore of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, generally containing aspects that […]

February 10th

The Rapid Transformation Of Publishing Economics

by  |   26 Comments

The death of print publishing is coming, it’s just a matter of whether it happens in 5 years, 10 years, or 15 years. I’m betting it happens sooner than anyone expects. Colin Crawford, the SVP of online for IDG, posted some stunning figures: Today the absolute dollar growth of our online revenues now exceeds the […]

February 9th

What If Google Never Succeeds With Offline Advertising?

by  |   7 Comments

Discussions of Google’s offline media ambitions — to extend their wildly successful platform for online advertising to offline advertising — typically assume that Google’s success in the offline arena is just a matter of time. But the reality is that Google has nothing but a string of failures to show for itself, most notably in […]

January 28th

Barack Obama Video Goes MIA

by  |   2 Comments

I embedded Barack Obama’s Brightcove video announcing his presidential candidacy in a post about how the use of viral videos may be shrinking the advertising pie for media companies. The video seems to have gone MIA. It also appears to be MIA from Obama’s own site: A word of caution to candidates or anyone else […]

January 8th

Google Experiments With Utterly Old School Video Ads

by  |   5 Comments

Google is experimenting with ads in some Google Video clips (via Inside Google via Boing Boing) — a stunning failure of innovation, here is was an example of an Allstate ad embedded into a Charlie Rose clip, which is was as interruptive, untargeted and utterly old school as anything mass TV advertising has ever inflicted […]

December 21st

Silicon Valley vs. Madison Avenue

by  |   12 Comments

If you spend too much time in Silicon Valley you’d think that the technology industry — with Google leading the charge — already owns the future of advertising. But don’t count out Madison Avenue just yet — they may be responsible for perpetuating the imbalance between media time spent online and ad dollars spent online […]

December 19th

The Page View Can Only Be Dethroned By Innovations in Online Advertising Value

by  |   15 Comments

There’s more talk about the death of page views, this time from the Chief of Insights at Yahoo, the recently dethroned page view king. The reason page views persist is that they are a key variable in the still dominant currency of online advertising — impressions, and its derivative CPM. Impressions themselves are merely the […]

December 4th

Brands As Media

by  |   2 Comments

Here’s a statistic to put a chill the heart of any online content or web app business looking to ride the wave of consumer advertising shifting online (via AdAge): Corporate and brand websites — once derided as “brochureware” in a digital marketing world that quickly moved to sexier applications — are getting a rehabilitation of […]

December 1st

The Deeply Painful Growing Pains of Online Advertising

by  |   6 Comments

Everybody is betting on the future of online advertising, but catching up on reading for this week, I was struck again and again by how deeply painful the growing pains are… The Internet Advertising Bureau has launched an ad campaign to “convince” advertisers to spend more money online (via MediaPost): To help develop the campaign, […]

November 27th

Is The Video Content Business Eating Itself Alive?

by  |   17 Comments

Last week the big news was CBS and YouTube crowing that distributing video clips of CBS TV shows through YouTube was (ostensibly) increasing CBS broadcast TV ratings. Today, the big news is that UK viewers who watch online video are watching lest broadcast TV. The online video boom is starting to eat into TV viewing […]

November 8th

The Deep Structural Problem of Advertising 2.0

by  |   22 Comments

In the standing-room-only Web 2.0 Summit workshop sessions on the future of marketing and Advertising 2.0, the belief that the revolution will be funded by advertising came face to face with the deep structural problems of advertising in the digital age. The poster child of both the promise and the existential angst of networked, digital […]

November 6th

The Upside and Downside of Google’s Newspaper Deal

by  |   9 Comments

Unbowed by its failed magazine print ad program, Google has cut a deal with 50 major newspapers to sell remnant print ad space to its enormous roster of AdWords advertisers. Here’s the upside and downside for Google and the newspaper industry: Upside Google — Even if newspaper print advertising continues to decline, Google’s share will […]

October 25th

Does All Advertising Want to Be Free?

by  |   24 Comments

Isn’t there an odd contradiction in all the thinking about new media? Individuals are now empowered to create content, to publish and have a voice without going through the old corporate hierarchy. You can blog and be heard, all for free, without asking permission. But what about brands? The assumption that online advertising will finance […]

October 24th

Google Wants To Own the Business of Content

by  |   5 Comments

Despite increasingly frequent reassurances to content creators, Google clearly wants nothing less than to own the content industry — but Google is completely earnest about not wanting to actually own or create any content. Google wants to own the BUSINESS of content. The big news today is of course Google’s launch of customized search, which […]

October 15th

Edelman, Wal-Mart and the Loss of Control in Media

by  |   60 Comments

It’s inevitable that a PR firm like Edelman would create a phony blog for one of its clients (in this case Wal-Mart — see Shel Holtz for a great analysis). For all of the hype over “conversation” as the new media paradigm, no one has yet figured out how to use conversation to reliably achieve […]

October 12th

More Evidence That Media 2.0 May Be Less Profitable Than Media 1.0

by  |   31 Comments

There is now macroeconomic data to support the theory that Media 2.0 won’t be as profitable as Media 1.0 (from MediaPost): In a break from historical patterns, the equities research team at Merrill Lynch says the rate of advertising price inflation now trails the overall rate of economic inflation. “Interestingly, advertising growth seems to be […]

October 9th

Google Acquires YouTube, Becomes the Archetypal Media Company

by  |   26 Comments

Google’s $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube solidifies Google’s position at the center of media. Google already has Google Video, so they didn’t buy YouTube for the technology. No, they bought YouTube for the traffic, the same reason they cut the $900 million deal with Fox Interactive Media. So don’t believe Eric Schmidt for a second […]

October 3rd

Engagement Is a Euphemism For Measuring the ROI of Brand Advertising

by  |   14 Comments

Last week I attended the Consumer Engagement Conference, put on by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), where I discovered that the word “engagement” — which is being proffered as a new “output” metric for advertising to replace outdated “input” metrics like Gross Rating Points and Impressions — […]

September 27th

The Fuzzy Middle Between Branding and Direct Response

by  |   21 Comments

As advertising dollars continue their inexorable march from offline to online, the battle for control of those dollars will be fought over the fuzzy middle ground between branding and direct response. I can’t count how many times at the OMMA conference I heard someone say it “depends on the advertiser’s objectives.” The problem with allocating […]

September 19th

Yahoo Sees Slowdown In Auto and Financial Ads…But Why?

by  |   6 Comments

Yahoo dumped a bucket of cold water on the (irrational?) exuberance over the torrid growth in online advertising, warning investors that their revenue for Q3 would come in at the low end of their forecast due to an unexpected slowdown in auto and financial services ads: A Yahoo Inc. executive said Tuesday a slowdown in […]

August 29th

Everything Is Media: The Digital Music Edition

by  |   2 Comments

As further evidence that technology is turning everything into media, Universal Music announced that it would be backing SpiralFrog, a digital music site that will attempt to transform the music business into a media business by selling advertising rather than charging fees: Universal Music, the world’s largest music company, is backing a start-up that will […]

August 27th

When Will Google Be Honest About Its Enterprise Ambitions?

by  |   17 Comments

Google has Microsoft squarely in its sights with the release of Google Apps for Your Domain — a bundling of Gmail and Google Talk, Calendar, and Page Creator for the enterprise, focused at this point on universities and small businesses. Here’s what jumped out at me from the press release: Girouard underscored that the Google […]

August 22nd

Brands Will Have a Tough Time on YouTube

by  |   8 Comments

I wonder whether any of the brands that YouTube is approaching to create customized video channels will really take the time to look at what kind of content is acutally driving the outrageous success of this much-hyped video sharing site. Let’s take a look at what’s on the front page of YouTube today. There’s the […]

August 21st

Advice to Blog Media: Get Better Metrics!

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A debate has erupted over the definition of blogs and the value of blog “influentials” as drivers of advertising CPM rates, which is so Old Media in the particulars it’s really quite astonishing. Scoble challenges Windows Live Spaces’ definition of a blog and then plants this lightening rod: What does Microsoft do when it says […]

August 19th

Everything Is Media: The Online Retailer Edition

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Folowing the 2.0 maxim that “everything is media,” online retailers have woken up to the media value of their website traffic and have started selling advertising on their sites (from WSJ, sub required): Last week, Amazon.com Inc. quietly began testing the sale of display ads on its home page to companies such as Ford Motor […]

August 16th

Why Advertise For Free on MySpace When You Can Pay News Corp Instead?

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Flush with confidence after closing a $900 million deal with Google, MySpace is taking on its next challenge — convincing advertisers who have put up brand and product pages on MySpace for free that they should pay for “their space” instead: Now, advertisers say the company is stepping up its efforts to convince big clients […]

August 9th

Does MySpace Matter in Google’s Deal with News Corp?

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Om Malik took an interesting critical look at the Google deal with News Corp, which got me thinking about whether MySpace matters much at all to this deal, despite all the hype: In a conference call, FIM executives noted that a very large number of people leave MySpace to go to Google. According to data […]

August 7th

The Rise of Online Video and the Fall of TV

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I’ve been predicting for a while that the TV advertising house of cards would collapse, and McKinsey just huffed and puffed and predicted (to its big Fortune 100 advertiser clients) that “by 2010, traditional TV advertising will be one-third as effective as it was in 1990″ (from AdAge): That shocking statistic, delivered to the company’s […]

August 5th

Lack of Transparency in Pay-Per-Click Ads and TV Ads: A Tale of Two Ad Councils

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What does it say about an advertising format when an industry “council” has to be formed in order to arbitrate the problem of advertisers not knowing whether they are getting what they paid for? That’s what happened to both pay-per-click advertising and TV advertising this past week, and the similarities between these two ad councils […]

August 1st

It’s the Users Calling…They Want Their Money

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The Guardian observes (via Jeff Jarvis) that YouTube has overtaken MySpace — but here’s the thing — it’s not really YouTube vs. MySpace. It’s user content and community hosted by YouTube vs. user content and community hosted by MySpace. The hosting is besides the point. It’s people like Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz who are […]

July 31st

Who Will Make Money with User-Generated Online Video?

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If you thought the social networking market was frothy, online video is rapidly expanding to fill all the bubble space. Jeff Jarvis observed that YouTube has now surpassed MySpace on Alexa (at least in reach) and speculates on who might buy YouTube — he also invited me to comment, and I’m going to take up […]

July 30th

Inform Enters the Search Economy

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Inform.com has wisely gotten out of the Web 2.0 news aggregator business and into the publisher services business. Erick Schonfeld at the Business 2.0 Blog has the scoop: As readership declines for newspapers and online readership grows, every publisher faces the threat coming from the edge of the network. Sites like Google News, Yahoo News, […]

July 22nd

The Fundamental Problem of Invalid (Fraudulent) Clicks

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An NYU professor conducted an independent analysis of Google’s efforts to combat click fraud and found that, while Googe’s efforts are “reasonable,” pay-per-click advertising “does not offer any ‘built-in’ fundamental protection mechanisms against the click fraud since it is very hard to specify which clicks are valid vs. invalid in general” and that any particular […]

July 13th

Pay-Per-Click Ads Are “Indifferent Displays of Advertising”

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Beyond affiliate and cost-per-action advertising, all paid media advertising models — from billboards to print ad to TV spots to pay-per-click text ads — are “indifferent displayers of advertising.” I lifted that apt phrase from Bruce Schneier’s Wired piece on Google’s click fraud crackdown: Google is testing a new advertising model to deal with click […]

July 3rd

Gawker’s Restructuring, Old New Media, and Bubble 2.0

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Gawker’s Nick Denton has announced a restructuring, including a staff shake-up and the sale of two under-performing sites. Nick is a smart guy, and he’s clearly getting ready for the inevitable moment when the new media bubble begins to deflate — a “perversely countercyclical move” he calls it. What I found most fascinating is the […]

July 1st

Paying for Bad PR

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After my initial revulsion at http://www.payperpost.com, the new service that connects bloggers who want to shill with companies in need of shilling, I created an account to get a look at the terms of the offers. After some very bad PR, PayPerPost is not surprising PAYING bloggers to drum up some more PR — and, […]

June 29th

Google Is A Very 1.0 Shopping Engine

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With the launch of Google Checkout, Google is clearly aiming to be the world’s online shopping engine. The strategy has all the hallmarks of AdWords — Google doesn’t care what you’re looking for, what you find, or where you buy it — so long as Google can make money off of every step of the […]

June 27th

Jellyfish’s Liquid E-Commerce Market

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It’s nothing new. I get this comment all the time when I’m trying to describe what I think is a (r)evolutionary change. It’s human instinct to cleave to what we already know, to hope that we can continue to live comfortably in the world that we’ve already wrapped our minds around. Sometimes, what’s hailed as […]

May 23rd

Google Video Ads May Accelerate Paid Media Advertising Death Spiral

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Michael Arrington is betting against Google’s new pay-per-click video ad program, and so am I, but it’s even worse than Google failing (again) to break into “traditional” advertising. Focus on Mike’s reason #4: Fourth, people don’t want to click on video ads. They don’t want to watch this stuff at all, really. And if a […]

May 18th

Appointment Media Is DEAD

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A new study released by Arbitron suggests that appointment media has both feet in the grave: A STUDY RELEASED WEDNESDAY BY research firm Arbitron traces the growth of the media on-demand marketplace over the last year, and shows the consumer strength of the demographics most attuned to on-demand offerings. Titled “Internet and Multimedia 2006: On-Demand […]

May 17th

TV Industry Will Be Downsized Online

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Michael Rogers argues that the TV industry will be able to avoid the mistakes that the music and print industries made when they went online and digital. How sweetly naive: While many magazines and newspapers are attracting a large Web audience and lots of advertising, the revenue may never match what they made in the […]

May 10th

Online Ad Rates Accelerate the Advertising Death Spiral

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I’m not making this up — brands really are eschewing paid media advertising and are instead creating their own media 2.0 platforms for connecting with consumers directly. And the web makes it possible, because anyone can create media AND because spiraling online ad pricing are driving brands to more quickly abandon the paid media ad […]

May 8th

Will Search Advertising Be Winner Take All?

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Reading about Yahoo’s new search-advertising software code-named Project Panama, I can’t help wondering whether any other form of advertising can compete with search advertising’s projectable ROI and hyper-efficiency: But as advertisers enter each bid, they will see an estimate of how many clicks they will receive each day. More important, a graph will show how […]

May 4th

2.0 Business Model Doomsday Scenario

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It’s official — Microsoft is no longer a software company. With the launch of adCenter, Microsoft will be joining the ranks of Google and other media companies: “Ad-supported software services are an integral part of Microsoft’s plans to give consumers access to a broader variety of digital media, whenever they want and on whatever device […]

April 25th

Imagining Life After Nielsen for TV (Video) Advertising

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Even before the advent of broadband video and video iPods, the $2 billion+ market for network television advertising was a house of cards, held losely together by the “Nielsen ratings,” a data set so deeply problematic that it may soon bring down the entire house. MediaPost reports on a new tale of error and inaccuracy […]

April 23rd

What If Media 2.0 Is Less Profitable Than Media 1.0?

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The advent of web-based e-commerce fundamentally lowered the costs of doing business, increasing the scalability (and in many cases the viability) of thousands of small businesses. The introduction of micro-marketing through Google AdWords gave a huge jolt to this trend, making marketing scalable and profitable for these same small businesses. Two companies — Google and […]

March 24th

How Fast Can Google Grow Offline?

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I’ve been very skeptical of Google’s Print Ad program since its inception. So I’m hardly surprised by the news from BusinessWeek that the program is a dud (thanks to David Utter for passing on the article): Carl D. Haugen, president of BluePenguin Software, spent $3,000 on an ad through Google, which ran in the November […]

March 19th

The Web 2.0 Blinders Phenomenon

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The discussion about MySpace on tech.mememorandum this morning is dripping with irony. On the one hand, you have the MySpace apologists, arguing that what teenagers do on MySpace is no different from what teenagers of past generations have done to rebel and be different, and that parents should just teach their children well and not […]

March 16th

Accounting for Click Fraud in PPC Advertising ROI

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What’s an AdWords advertiser to do? Your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is profitable, but then you find out that 35% of the clicks you paid for were fraudulent. Does your PPC advertising campaign still make good business sense? That’s the conundrum that Radiator.com confronted, according to the Washington Post: After analyzing where and when each click […]

March 9th

The Coming Search Advertising Crash

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I’m not sure if I’ll be the first to predict it, but search advertising is headed for a cliff. I can’t say with any certainty when–or whether–the crash will come, but the evidence is mounting. Everyone is talking about the $90 million click fraud settlement, and the Google apologists are out in force, arguing that […]

February 22nd

Is Search Advertising Reaching a Plateau?

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Search advertising has been all the rage the last few years, leaving sellers of traditional display advertising to fear a slow death as Google and other search engines siphon off all of the ad dollars. But after a dramatic run-up in search, there’s evidence that we’re reaching a plateau. I try to avoid the dangerous […]

February 20th

The Death of TV Advertising

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Everyone thought TiVo, with its ad-skipping technology, would lead to the death of TV advertising — but it’s actually the shift of audience and media value to digital media that is draining the value from broadcast media. Take Coldwell Banker’s new ad campaign in which TV plays an ancillary role, supporting the real action which […]

February 16th

Google Tilts at Offline Advertising ROI

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So Google thinks they can measure the ROI of advertising in offline media. Good luck! For years, Corporate America has been putting the screws to marketing departments to find a way to measure the ROI of advertising, but until recently the results have been mostly smoke and mirrors. One of the (many) empty promises of […]

February 15th

The Short-Term Value of Google Advertising

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Is it possible that the text ads pioneered by Google have near zero branding value and, as one search advertiser noted in a Stifel Nicolaus analyst report on Google, the “lifetime value of a customer acquired through Google for his/her business [has] approached zero”? The Stifel Nicolaus report by Scott Devitt is cited in a […]

January 27th

Why Google Needs Rich Media

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The news that Google is testing rich media supports the view that traditional brand advertising is not about to go away. Having wrung every penny from smaller advertisers with more transactional businesses — which are the ones that work best with text ads — Google is aiming now at the BIG advertisers who have BIG […]

January 25th

Is Media a Commodity?

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Will media become a commodity? Google and the search marketing industry that grew up around it think so. Creators of Web 2.0 content applications like Digg and Reddit think so. Today, we learn that eBay also thinks so — MediaPost reports that they pitched an electronic trading system for buying and selling media. And who […]

January 24th

No Substitute for Traditional Brand Advertising

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The conventional wisdom is that traditional advertising is wounded and dying at the feet of innovators like Google AdSense and Word of Mouth Marketing. The NYTimes continues its role as a media and technology hype machine today with its coverage of the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association meeting: Speakers with titles like “marketing medic” or “manager of […]

January 14th

Blogs Need to Monetize Influence, Not Audience Size

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Until recently, a principal business objective of publishing was to amass an audience that advertisers would pay to reach. A good publishing business plan clearly defined the audience and how advertisers would value the audience. Bloggers are so enamored with their ability to publish without going through the gatekeepers of Old Media. But they could […]

January 13th

Big Advertisers Don’t Want an Open Web

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Here’s another reason why the blogosphere’s vision of the web as an open marketplace likely won’t come to pass: the BIG advertisers won’t finance it. Let’s face it, the Googlenomics revolution has been financed by the little guys, who have profitably grown their businesses with pay-per-click ads. For small companies, brand management is secondary to […]

January 11th

Scarcity of Ideas and the Digital Media Future

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At the heart of the digital media revolution is a burning question about the sustainability of the content creation business. The issue was recently stirred up by Lloyd Shepherd’s post on digitial rights management (DRM), further stirred by Doc Searls, and brought into critical focus by Jon Udell, who made the compelling assertion that the […]

January 8th

Getting Over Print

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You can’t blame print publishers for having a bad case of cognitive dissonance as they try to figure out the future of their business. Try digesting this: From BusinessWeek, January 9, 2006, page 29 (for those of you following in print), Call it Gutenberg’s Revenge: Upstart Internet publishers, helped by low costs that go with […]

January 6th

Laying Off the Presses

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For most print publishers, online ad revenue (from the online version of their print publications) has represented only a modest percentage of total ad revenue — sufficiently small that they still see themselves as principally in the print publishing business, since that’s where most of the money comes from. Online advertising revenue has been growing […]

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