Erick Schonfeld writes:
Since widgets are applications, they can be more than simple messages. Instead of a banner ad for the Gap, for instance, why not push a little piece of the Gap store right to a consumer’s browser at the point when she is thinking about buying a new sweater? Again, sounds good in theory. But getting people to opt into those types of marketing widgets will be no easy trick.
There are other potential widget business models also being explored, such as transactional widgets that kick back a percentage of any resulting Amazon/iTunes/eBay purchase or Google search. If they ever do take off, widgets also could be sponsored by advertisers, or even licensed outright by large media companies desperate to do anything to keep their shrinking audiences engaged. And then, of course, there is always the possibility of mini-advertisements in the widgets themselves. In the end, ads are like ants. They find their way into everything.