New World Disorder

Chaos theory: advertising cash will soon decrease, by Jeff Jarvis in the Guardian. I get quoted:

  Advertising is no one’s first choice as the basis of a relationship. For marketers, it’s expensive and inefficient. For customers, it’s invasive and annoying. And targeted advertising is only slightly more efficient and slightly less annoying. Clearly, the direct relationship between a customer and a company is preferable. But that direct connection cuts out the middlemen – that is the media.
  The Advertising Age media critic Bob Garfield dubs this the “chaos scenario”, arguing that total advertising spending – which long stayed stable and merely shifted among media – will now decrease. Blogger Doc Searls contends that on the internet, “supply and demand will find each other . . . Advertising will still be part of that picture, but it won’t fund the whole thing.” Beth Comstock, a digital exec at NBC Universal, complains that every business pitch she hears is ad-supported. “It’s just not going to be possible,” she said recently. “There are not going to be enough advertising dollars in the marketplace – no matter how clever we are, no matter what the format is.”
  There won’t be enough to support us in media in the manner to which we’ve become accustomed. And it’s hard to imagine what other business models will come along to fund us.

It’s hard, but necessary. And far from impossible.


  1. Jon Garfunkel’s avatar

    re: “There won’t be enough to support us in media in the manner to which we’ve become accustomed.” Oh, now he tells us.

    FTR, I did send Jeff my TimesSelect series, which references the PaperTrust model as a subscription-style revenue service for newspapers. Haven’t heard back any comment from him– or many others.

  2. Alexander van Elsas’s avatar

    Hi Doc,

    I can’t wait for us to move into a whole set of innovations based upon a different business model. The current web 2.0 free (ad-based) business model is blocking user centric thinking. I have thought and written a lot about it recently, and in my humble opinion the business model is soon to be replaced by something better, as it is fueled by the wrong side. Not by the user who is supposed to get value, but by the service owner and the advertiser. It forces companies to leverage the network instead of providing the user real value. Rolf Skyberg wrote a nice post on that this morning describing that we are in the Gartner hype cycle fase 3. Once users get disappointed by the minimum value they get from many services they will ignore them and move to something better. The bubble is pressured, all we need now is a needle to deflate it.

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