"A unique, wry and often satirical look at the Internet, the modern age and life in general" (there is way too much search-engine competition for the phrase "incoherent ramblings")

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Net advertising will eat itself!

You may have heard the expression "pop will eat itself". I don't mean the British band, but rather the idea (phrase originally coined by the British New Music Express magazine), that pop music is coming to a point where it is recycling itself so much that we are gradually approaching the point of the "perfect pop song" where by definition there is nowhere else for music to go.

Carried over to net advertising the idea would be that revenue is going to increasingly spread itself around, to the extent that in the end no-one will effectively be making any money from it.

Perhaps I can compare it to the concept from physics, of thermodynamic equilibrium, whereby the energy within a closed system will eventually be evenly distributed around the system (apologies to physicists for this mauling): everybody will one day have an internet presence. Everybody will be a publisher, including my granddad. Everybody will be an advertiser, everyone will have a piece of the pie. Hence eventually there will effectively be no-one left to sell to and advertising equilibrium will have been reached. Or if you like, there will only be one piece of the pie left, and advertising will have eaten itself.

Was just reading about yet another affiliate/advertising scheme which is very similar to Adsense in its implementation, but offers a product feed from Ebay to insert into your site. It's called AuctionAds, and credits to ProBlogger for this one, (a guy who is pretty darned far from advertising equilibrium, I suspect!), and works by feeding keyword-based product links to the space you determine on your web page.

Looks a bit like this (this is using the keywords "pink poodle"):

Seems like a nice idea. But what if we all become AuctionAds affiliates surely there will be no-one left to buy from us!

Perhaps the solution is (probably short-lived) pyramid referral schemes like Agloco where the point is to get in early and so ensure you are one of the top-level referrers. That way you might have a reasonable income, at least until your downline gets bored of earning a few pennies a month to have an obtrusive ad bar in their browser, and the advertisers get sick of the low CTR, because most of their users are money-grabbing webmasters like you!

Advertising equilibrium is coming, so you might as well get your knife and fork out and get ready to eat humble advertising pie!