Posts from the ‘advertising’ Category
May 23, 2006
In the '90's venture guys were afraid to back startups that would compete with Microsoft.
Today's Microsoft is Google.
For those of us who invest in consumer internet ventures, the "why couldn't Google do this and crush you?" question is a pretty common refrain.
I recently (like, this morning) had a very close encounter with the Google factor.
Over the past couple of months I've spent some time with a very talented entrepreneur who is building a self serve network for video ads, or, in other words, an "adsense for video" product.
I have to say I found the proposition pretty intriguing, though at the end of the day (last Friday, actually) we decided to pass on the opportunity. The Google question was one of a few factors that pushed me over the edge.
And what do I read in TechCrunch this morning? Sure enough, Google has come out with a PPC video ad product or, in other words, adsense for video.
TechCrunch has a good description/discussion on Google's move, and lots of comments worth crusing through. Michael Arrington and the bulk of the comments don't think Google's move was a good one.
Personally, I am predicting that, over time, this is going to prove to be a pretty successful play. The biggest question I have is not whether Google's PPC video ads will work for advertisers and generate revenue — they will — but rather what content will prove most fertile for this genre of ads. It is not clear to me that run of the mill text content will prove to be a good medium for a video ad product; however, as the web itself goes multimedia, it only stands to reason that ads will to. Google might be early, but I for one think they are on to something.
May 18, 2006
The television industry has converged on NYC for the annual "upfronts," during which the major television networks tout their upcoming season of programming and try to sell advertisers big ticket "upfront" packages.
I am going out on a limb to predict that 2006 will be looked back on as a watershed upfront season.
Couple of reasons.
First, digital/broadband is no longer an afterthought but an integral piece of the broadcasters' offerings. In response to advertisers' ever growing demand to reach consumers through digital platforms, the major broadcast networks are falling over themselves to satisfy the advertisers' ever growing demand for alternative digital ad inventory. (I think it is now clear why we saw the spate of announcements over the last couple months that programmers like Disney and Fox would make substantial chunks of programming available on the web). And, perhaps an even more intriguing harbinger of things to come was the emergence of upfront campaigns by a number of broadband pureplays (including my portfolio company Heavy.com which had considerable success with their upfront campaign). Advertising on the digital platforms has achieved critical mass.
Second, this is the first upfront where the TiVo ad-skipping phenomenon was widely accepted as an important, soon to be quite commonplace, aspect of television viewing. Even Nielsen is beginning to measure Tivo viewership. To be sure, there is a lively debate over what the implications will be. Whether TV ads will go the way of 8-track tapes and VCRs as opposed to morphing into "TiVo-proof" models remains unclear (my personal view is the latter), but I think the industry now gets it that, one way or another, the Tivo effect is here to stay and one way or the other will have to be addressed.
Third, as a result of the above, the fact that television audiences have become exceptionally fragmented, and the growing recognition that traditional TV advertising just doesn't work that well, TV broadcasters clearly are losing the leverage they used to have over advertisers. In fact, a few major advertisers didn't even show up for this year's up fronts.
For me, all of this wraps up into yet another data point that the media industry is in the midst of some very dramatic changes and reinforces our view that it is an exciting and promising arena in which to be searching for new opportunities.