I know – where I have been all day? In NYC for meetings, thanks. But the train ride gives me a chance to catch up on reading and here are two things which stood out today.
According to the IAB Ad Revenue report, online advertising is up only 11%. The rate of growth is half of last year’s. Despite this, the industry is paralyzed. VC’s won’t fund ad-based business models. I don’t get it other than it’s the usual incredibly high standard to which media businesses have always been held. Anyone know of any other business up that much? Let’s also recognize that with falling CPM‘s that amount of investment bought way more real estate than it did a year ago. I get that a ton of the investment was in search marketing, but that is still a commitment to both advertising and to digital. While I’d still be wary about relying too heavily on a robust ad marketplace to drive my business, as has been the case in other, lesser downturns, a bad year in media is still an OK year elsewhere. Don’t you think Detroit would kill for 11% growth?
Skype coming to iPhones, and eventually to Blackberrys and other WiFi enabled devices is the sound of another walled garden coming down. While Apple has done some things to protect AT&T, eventually you know that those restrictions will ease and the carrier networks will become immaterial in some ways. By the way, I see American Airlines is putting WiFi on more flights but not cell service so we won’t have to delight in the sounds of “oh baby I miss you” at 35,000 feet. Except with the aforementioned Skype on WiFi, well, maybe that isn’t quite true either. Maybe if they block access to Skype somehow but …
The history of media has been that of walled gardens being built and then having the walls knocked down. The broadcasters’ walled system of affiliate distribution was broken by cable. Cable’s walls were broken by the Internet. Walled AOL became web AOL. Carrier nets will go too. Not today, but the cracks are there.
More, less random, thinking tomorrow!