What’s the Biggest Myth About Online Advertising?

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.


Earlier this week, Digiday highlighted a post from ComScore’s Kirby Winfield listing his top myths of online advertising. It inspired us to ask other industry leaders for their top myths. Judging from the replies, it’s time to stop calling banners and clicks worthless, start questioning how new “native advertising” is, and acting like digital is going to take over from traditional media. Please add your own myths in the comments.

Ian Schafer, CEO, Deep Focus @ischafer
Online advertising is filled with more myths than Thor’s Kindle. But the one that’s captured my fancy recently is the myth of the Newfront. The TV upfronts are meant to create a competitive marketplace for brands to synchronously reach large audiences with scarce, premium inventory. Online video is delivered asynchronously, with no track record of being able to produce “hits.” Most video ad dollars are spent placing ads around content which is neither scarce nor “premium.” The online video market has grown because of its ability to remove friction from the buying process. The industry is not mature enough for friction to result in premium pricing. Close, but not yet. We’ll need bigger distribution for that. I buy the concept of the Newfront as a content showcase. But not a competitive marketplace. For now, when there are “premium dollars” spent on online video, they will flow into real innovation where quality content (creators), reach (networks), and deep engagement (platforms) combine. That will scarcely happen, but when it does, it will have the potential to change the way advertisers look at their TV and online buys.

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