NONE: ONLINE-ADS>> Web publishing vs content creation
ONLINE-ADS>> Web publishing vs content creation
Peter Bull (peterb_at_dvp.com.au)
Thu, 20 Nov 1997 09:56:07 +1100
Please help me to understand why all the other popular mainstream
advertising media - television, radio, newspapers, and magazines - have
evolved similar models of the relationship between the content, the
advertiser and the consumer, regardless of the differences in their
production and distribution technologies, and yet all of us who are
developing content for the web seem determined to ignore the lessons
learned in those media and are hell-bent on trying to persist with a
totally new advertising model despite the fact (IMHO) that it probably
won't work. As if this new technology we are so enamoured with somehow
changed the universal realities of media publishing.
Here's an example of what I mean: When Matt Groening's production company
makes an episode of the Simpsons, they insert convenient breaks in the
program content so that appropriate advertising messages can be inserted
later BY SOMEONE ELSE, by someone closer to the consumer. Apart from
picking up a few placement ad bucks for the odd Coca-cola billboard in the
Springfield landscape, almost 100% of the gazillion advertising dollars
associated with the Simpsons are sold by national and local networks and
stations, like my local Channel 7 here in Brisbane, Australia, who have
paid Groening's distributors for the right to package his content for this
particular local audience. The program doesn't arrive at my station with
Groening Advertising Sales Departments ads already slotted into the program
breaks because they wouldn't be relevant to Channel 7's audience. Groening
is a content creator, not a media publisher.
My local newspaper sometimes reprints articles from the London Times or the
Washington Post, but these articles are surrounded by ads from local auto
dealerships or retail food chains, not by ads for the London Underground or
for Chevrolet cars, neither of which are available where I live. The
advertising material is independent from the content it is packaged with.
It is the job of the newspaper publisher to select the suitable content
and sell the accompanying ads, so that the combination of both is relevant
and attractive to me.
So when I buy my daily newspaper (which, incidentally, although it is only
one unremarkable example among thousands of daily papers published around
the world, sells $150,000 worth of advertisements to hundreds of
advertisers EVERY DAY - $45million worth of advertising a year!) I get
headlines, the racing form guide, what's on TV tonight, upcoming cultural
events, who's having a home furnishings or sporting goods sale this week,
and I can also check out the prices of new vehicles, look for a new job, or
find a new apartment, among other stuff.
Most of these are paid advertising messages, and they make up the bulk of
the paper, but they are perceived by me as valuable and relevant content,
not intrusive advertisements. An intrusive advertisement is when my search
results on Hotbot have to wait until after I have been told that Sprint's
ISDN business rates are lower than PacBell's - a useless piece of
information that missed its target by about 10,000 miles.
70% of all purchases are made within ten miles of where people live. 70%
of all advertising dollars spent are spent by local businesses with local
media outlets, in order to reach the only audience most of the advertisers
are interested in - the local buyer.
The very thing which makes the web such a fabulous publishing medium for
business information - its global accessibility - is exactly the same
characteristic that makes almost any given website useless as an
advertising medium for the vast majority of today's advertisers. The
Simpsons is global content, too, but the idea that the Simpsons could be
shown all over the world with the same set of embedded advertisements is
absurd. If it is absurd for TV, it is equally absurd for the web.
Wake up all you wannabe web publishers! Most of you are not and never will
be advertising revenue generating publishers at all, you are content
creators! Even if you jump through technological hoops backwards, trying
to build behaviour profiles on everyone who ever visits your site, you
cannot offer most of the world's advertisers a value proposition that they
should take seriously for one minute. Because when my local pizza parlour
says he wants to get his message across to ME, you can't do it, because you
have no idea who or where I am, and you never will. My local pizza parlour
has a delivery range of about 5 miles in radius. There is no point in this
successful business placing any advertising in a medium where the
advertisement might be seen by anyone in the entire world.
The only organisations that can provide meaningful audience reach to
potential web advertisers are the ones who know exactly who is online in
THIS community right now and can guarantee to place the advertiser's
message in front of those people and ONLY those people, regardless of which
global website they happen to be visiting at any given moment.
That means the local ISP is the only organisation that can play the same
publishing role for the web as the local newspaper or radio station or TV
station, providing access to the media content that the consumer wants but
wrapping it up with local advertisements at the point of delivery. But as
far as I can discover, none of the ISPs do this, because they think they
are in the telecommunications service business (which is as silly as a
newspaper thinking it is in the ink and processed wood pulp delivery
Meanwhile, most of the content producers in webworld want to believe they
can be media publishers yet they can't figure out why so few businesses are
willing to pay for their oversupply of embedded advertising space. The
most successful of the content producers will continue to attract and
service the relatively tiny group of advertisers who genuinely have a
global marketplace for their products or services and the rest will
struggle along in their increasingly marginal niches or flounder and die.
The real world media publishers are already starting to wake up and they
will take control of this potentially lucrative channel to market, mark my
words. And their business model for this medium won't be all that
different to the one that fits the other media, except for the wonderful
and unique bonus that all the content they package their advertising around
and deliver will be free. And then the content producers had better figure
out a better way to get paid for what they do, because the advertising
dollars they had hoped to get will be spent where they are most effective -
as they always have been.
Director, DVP Media Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Australia
For samples of DVP's most recent work, see:
The world's best online wine store - www.thegrape.com.au
Australian Provincial Newspapers Classifieds - www.checkoutclassifieds.com
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