Monday, 25 August 2008

Google as an advertising aggregator / Seven Driving Forces Shaping Media

To finish off the Google posts of the last week lets finish with Ross Dawson. Ross has many, many great, interesting, and sometimes controversial things to say but suggesting "Google is an advertising aggregator" is not one of them. To quote Ross "It's important to understand that Google is not just a search engine, and that it is in fact, more than anything else, an aggregator of advertising. What it does is it goes to advertisers and says, 'We can present information about you, not just on our own search engine, but also on many, many other websites'. Google's adsense program is that advertisers can access many small websites as well as the front page of Google. So through that, Google has become the major centre for advertising on the internet, and using search as a mechanism to build that advertising. And you thought it was about searching.

Staying with Ross, his Seven Driving Forces Shaping Media framework has interesting things to say about the direction of the web and its impact on the media. There are lessons here for libraries. After all, more and more of our services are delivered online, so it is a landscape we need to understand if we are to prosper. Ignore them and we libraries may indeed disappear by 2019.

The Seven Driving Forces are:

1. Increasing media consumption
Implications: Average total media consumption will exceed waking hours. Most media will be consumed with partial attention. Advertising impact will decrease.
2. Fragmentation
Implications: Current mass media markets are ephemeral. Revenues per channel will decrease. In all except a handful of cases, production costs will need to scaled down.
3. Participation
Implications: An infinite supply of content. Increased fragmentation of attention. Pro-Am (professional-amateur) content models will emerge.
4. Personalisation
Implications: Users’ expectations for control over their media will increase. Abuse of personalised advertising will create a backlash. Some will opt-out, and others will opt-in if sufficient value is created.
5. New revenue models
Implications: Advertising aggregation will be central to the media landscape. Media companies will segment and unbundle ad sales and content creation.
6. Generational change
Implications: Media channels will be increasingly age-segmented. Advertisers will accelerate their shift to new media outlets. Sharemarket valuations will reflect age profiles of audiences.
7. Increasing bandwidth
Implications: Video on demand anywhere, anytime. Personal clouds will allow music and video collections to be accessed anywhere without local storage. The rationale for allocated media spectrum and infrastructure will fade.

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