Knowledge Bridge

Global Intelligence for the Digital Transition

Online Advertising: What hasn’t changed

After dropping out of digital publishing in 2004, entrepreneur and co-founder of video platform Brightcove Rags Gupta has returned to the business to launch a new media publishing business, RollUp Media. While much has changed, he says, much hasn’t.

We’ll start by looking at what Gupta says hasn’t changed, which he outlined in a recent article on GigaOm.

  • The selling point of online advertising has been that it can be more measurable and more targeted. However, even now the debate rages on the effectiveness of banner advertising, Gupta said, adding: “Banner ads are reviled in many quarters, but they’ve shown remarkable resilience.”
  • The industry still remains concentrated, he says, with the top 50 online ad sellers capturing more than 90% of the market. We think it could be argued, however, that an industry with 50 competitors isn’t very concentrated. Compare this to search advertising, where Google, Yandex and Baidu enjoy far greater dominance.
  • The same two companies, Nielsen and ComScore, remain the top measurement companies.
  • Mobile is still the next big thing in digital advertising – it was in 2004, and it still is in 2012. As we said recently, the audience is moving to mobile, but advertising still lags. It might catch up, but mobile advertising revenue won’t increase simply by copying techniques from the desktop web.

Gupta gives a good overview of online advertising and it’s interesting to see how much has remained relatively constant over much of the past decade.

One thing that has changed is that ads can more effectively target people in your audience. The better targeted the ads are, the better they perform, which means that you’ll earn more revenue to support your journalism. We’ll post another blog soon to look at some of the things that Gupta says have changed, such as new advertising technologies.

Article by Kevin Anderson

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