Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Your next ad agency - Google?

*Disclosure - I work for Text 100 on the Nokia account. This blog posting is purely my viewpoint, taken from my knowledge of the industry, without any confidential information.*

"There's money to be made in online advertising," - [random internet company exec]

There was an interesting article today in The Business Times (yes, I read NST) about how Google was seeing a real rosy future in mobile phone advertising. (read it here) Well, this isn't exactly new news per se, but I just really liked the article as it presented a real concise picture of the next step in the convergence of mobility, communications, technology, services and content.

You see, the first problem companies really had with the internet was how to monetize it. Why? Because the internet is used mainly by a bunch of freeloaders who expect and want everything to be free. Yet, even if you're generating be best content in the world, the moment you ask people to pay for it online, you can expect your readership, listenership or viewership to drop to about 10% of what you've got. Wonder how many people would watch YouTube if you had to pay US$1.00 per clip? Uh-huh.

So, advertising has been the way forward for making money on the Internet, and this one company, Google, has gotten pretty good at it. Indeed, when the then leader Yahoo! was floundering, along came Google with AdSense and voila! we discovered the first truly workable internet advertising model. Of course, it helped that AdSense was really Web 2.0-savvy (simple bloggers could just add AdSense and make money) and the blogosphere was in the middle of its boom.

So now, as we're moving on to the next great phase of technology - the mobile internet - it suddenly makes sense that Google would want in on bringing advertising to the fourth screen - your mobile phone (or device or multimedia computer). Tom Merritt once said on Buzz Out Loud (though I forget which episode), that "Google's goal is to advertise to you wherever you are with whatever means possible." Fantastic plan, actually.

However, Google's probably not the only one moving in this direction this time. Microsoft, via its Live services hopes to attract a couple of eyeballs and sell some advertising as well. Yahoo! is shaping up its own internet advertising offering. Both have solid partnerships with handset manufacturers and are developing application suites that may (and I am heavily speculating here) include advertising in the future. Nokia (and this I know for a fact) has already acquired mobile advertising firm Enpocket and a bunch of other services companies like Twango, and more recently Navteq - so you can expect some innovative new ideas on advertising soon. Do you think Apple might consider moving into advertising too?

So here's the big picture, you now have several big companies steeped in devices, software, or services, all moving towards one zone of competition - advertising. As the internet becomes a more powerful medium, this little niche in advertising may one day become the mainstream mode of reaching people (if it hasn't already). What, then, do you call companies like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Nokia? Ad agencies?

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