Video Advertising

Read/Write Web writes:

If video is indeed the most important type of user generated content today, and we have entered the monetization phase of the new web, then the gold rush fever surrounding video ads is not a surprise. But what is the right way of doing this?

The right way is going to be whoever manages to deliver ads in a format that does not annoy consumers. A repeat of what Google did with text ads, but in video, is going unlock huge advertising spending and shift even more of it online. Will this be Google or some other company? We do not know yet, but Google has already spent a whooping $1.65B on YouTube, so it will fight this battle hard. In this post we look at what different companies are doing today and consider the ingredients of a successful solution, using AdWords as a model.

Teens Online

AlwaysOn features an interview with Anastasia Goodstein, author of “Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens Are Really Doing Online.”

Teenagers are connected to each other, lots more information, and media 24/7. They need parents and adults to set limits on this use and act as guides as to whats credible as well as to help them be more media and marketing savvy. It means that there is a new way of communicating that adds an element of distance, the possibility of anonymity, and the reality of much of this communication is public or can easily be made public.

Teens put the social in social networking. Being a teen is all about individuating from your parents and spending more time with peers. We did this by hanging out in malls, parks and parking lots. Todays teens are much more scheduled and structured, and todays parents are more reluctant to let teens hang out unsupervised.

India’s Power Crisis

The lack of power is the cover story in a recent issue of Business World. The New York Times also joins in:

[The] electricity crisis…represents one of the major hurdles to Indias ability to hoist itself into the front ranks of the global economy.

Look up at the tops of buildings, and on any given day, you are likely to find three, four or six smokestacks poking out of each, blowing gray-black plumes into the clouds. If the smokestacks are being used, it means the power is off and the building whether bright new mall, condominium or office is probably being powered by diesel-fed generators.

According to the Planning Commission of India, 600 million people roughly half the population are off the electric grid. For this reason, it is impossible to estimate accurately the total national shortfall.

But no matter how it is calculated, there is no doubt that Indias electricity crisis is becoming all the more acute for the roaring pace of the countrys economic growth and the new material aspirations it has generated.

WiFi and Mobiles

BBC News writes:

As the numbers turning to 3G are climbing, those mobile networks could be forgiven for thinking that it was only a matter of time before they started recouping the considerable capital cost of buying and building that network.

Unfortunately the relentless pace of innovation may be about to dent the dreams of recovering those costs.

As hotspots get linked up into mesh networks that offer blanket coverage they create a rival to the 3G networks currently in existence.

Coming iPhone Era

Tomi Ahonen writes: “June 2007 marks a watershed moment in time. Much like the Western calendar marks time from before and after Jesus Christ, and how the computer world changed totally by the Macintosh – remembering that Windows is Microsoft’s copy of the Mac operating system – I am certain that the mobile telecoms world will count its time in two Eras. The Era BI: time Before the iPhone, and the ERA AI: time After the iPhone. What will change? Pretty much everything. And funnily enough, most of it is not actually caused by the iPhone, they only happen to occur so closely to the iPhone, that the iPhone will be given much of the credit.”

TECH TALK: Facebook: The Vision

Fortune wrote a story on Facebook:

“Imagine that when you shopped online for a digital camera, you could see whether anyone you knew already owned it and ask them what they thought. Imagine that when you searched for a concert ticket you could learn if friends were headed to the same show.

Or that you knew which sites – or what news stories – people you trust found useful and which they disliked. Or maybe you could find out where all your friends and relatives are, right now (at least those who want to be found).”

“We want to make Facebook into something of an operating system so you can run full applications,” Zuckerberg [said]. He said Facebook is becoming a “platform,” meaning a software environment where others can create their own services, much the way anyone can write programs for Microsoft’s Windows operating system on PCs. Facebook, he explained, is a technology company, not a media one.

Today, social networking is fragmented. There are networks for dating, for philanthropy, for pet owners, for parents. But each has its own ways for members to register, describe themselves, communicate, and interact. Facebook aims to make much of that unnecessary. It will provide the underlying services – a platform – and offer access to its prerecruited pool of members. It will retain some online real estate and will still generate the lion’s share of its revenue from advertising.

Michael Parekh wrote:

If Facebook is able to even partially execute on the promise of this strategy, it could pose a long-term dilemma for the mainstream portals. Tactically, it makes a ton of sense for all of them to make sure their individual portal services are represented as applications within Facebook, thus leveraging Facebook’s networked audience.

Strategically, Facebook poses strategic risks for the major portals no less than what Google posed for Yahoo!, AOL and Microsoft back in the nineties, when they all used Google’s search engine as an outsourced service.
For smaller Web 2.0 companies, Facebook could be their best friend in the short-term. They potentially get substantial, and relatively inexpensive customer acquisition via Facebook, by making their services “applications” on Facebook’s platform.

In that sense, Facebook’s strategy is brilliant, since it makes a tail-wind out of the fact that the biggest problem facing hundreds of VC and angel-funded Web 2.0 startups, is to get massive, quick, inexpensive distribution.

Tomorrow: Looking Ahead

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