The future of advertising

No Ads
Image courtesy Wikipedia


  1. The Internet dominates our lives.
  2. The Internet thrives on advertising (think Google, Facebook, Twitter, Hulu)

It therefore follows that our lives are dominated by Internet advertising.

The traditional model for advertising has been that publishers put out ads to catch the attention of consumers via some like of delivery network. In the past these delivery networks were in print, on radio, on television and now, on the Internet. It seems like a win-win for everyone: the delivery network gets paid by the publishers; the publishers make money because they get more customers; the consumers find out about publishers that they may not have otherwise known.

But a new trend is emerging now: consumers directly pay the delivery networks to NOT see ads from publishers.

Think Spotify. Netflix. Pandora. NYTimes. Dozens (hundreds) of mobile apps and games that have paid versions without ads.

Think about it. There seems to be near universal consensus that ads are a negative thing. There seem to be some (many?) success stories that individual consumers are willing to pay extra to avoid exposure to ads.

It seems like a fundamental shift in advertising to me. A world where the delivery networks become content providers and instead of charging publishers, they make money directly from the consumers.

In particular, I wonder how the Internet giants will evolve to take this trend into account. Would you be interested in a paid Google account that has no ads and offers full privacy (because they don’t need to make money off of your information anymore)?

Also interesting is that Apple is probably one of the few companies that are isolated from this changing nature of ads.

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