The FeedBurner Networks and Adify are two recent examples of companies that are looking to cash in on the current boom in online advertising, and creating their own networks. They might not be alone, and even some of the older Web 2.0 properties might be looking to make an online advertising network play here. With nearly $16.7 billion being spent on online advertising, it is hardly a surprise that almost every is willing to throw their hat in the ring. The situation reminds me of the early days of Web 1.0, when ad networks popped up on a weekly basis, only to vanish is mists of time.
In the latest edition of the Om & Niall PodSessions, we discuss this trend and ponder about the issue of how some like FeedBurner share the bounty with the publisher. Will they do better than what the likes of Google, YPN and newer players such as Federated Media? Or will this be as Niall aptly writes is “another attempt to mine the seemingly free gold laying on the riverbed named user-generated content.”
Beyond that there are some other problems which these networks will have to contend with: the availability of crack sales teams with deep relationships with the advertising community, that typically moves at a pace slower than the Silicon Valley. The shortage of advertising sales talent is the Achilles heel of the new Web 2.0 ecosystem. (Ironically, the old media has a built in advantage here.)
Think about it this way – desktop applications that were once sold as shrink-wrap is now advertising supported. 411 services that cost as much as $1.99 a minute are being replaced by ad-supported services, and well even AOL is kissing a multi-billion dollar access business goodbye and replacing it with an ad-only model. Even Bill Gates has espoused a future where many of Microsoft’s services will be bolstered by advertisements.
You can listen to the podcast and comeback and your thoughts.