The rise of online advertising

The Amazon Kindle has been with us for three years now.  In that time they have become much more affordable and sophisticated and I was delighted to find one in my Christmas Stocking.  Now the purpose of this blog is not to get into a debate about the attributes of kindle versus the Apple ipad versus android tablets or whatever.  The debate is about the growth of online advertising and the relentless way it seems to penetrate every aspect of our lives.  It also highlights the fundamental difference between advertisers/marketers and PR/Corporate communications.  The former still seek to bombard us with messages the later to engage stakeholders and build relationships.

Currently if I buy a book on Amazon (or anywhere else) the next time I log into Amazon or sift through my email there will be targeted advertising or promotions based on search history and data collected about me.  E-books are cheaper than traditional books.  There are clearly not the overheads of printing and distribution so, it could be argued there is less money to be made in e-books unless you are the book seller.  Michael Sinanian in his MediaBeat blog predicts that with the link between e-book stores and social media it would be a natural next step to introduce adverts.  The adverts could even change based on who’s reading the book.  Both Google and Amazon make a lot of money through online adverts so maybe it’s just a question of time?

For me the pleasure of reading is not in whether something is in a traditional hard copy or e-format it’s about the undistracted experience of immersing myself in an absorbing subject.  So before online advertisers take over the world I’m off to enjoy a good read.

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11 Responses to The rise of online advertising

  1. I agree that new technology has made real changes to the so-called promotional mix: digital interactivity and database capability have made it possible for advertisers to customise and target their messages much more closely to ever-smaller niche market segments – even individuals,as you point out. But I like this: it means that the discount vouchers I receive in Tesco, for example, are of use and value to me. In a world full of advertising clutter, we can still exercise choice and ignore what we deem as irrelevant or extraneous – and choose whether /where we wish to pay attention. Happy reading in your case!

  2. 007scorpion says:

    Nail-on-the-head…. online advertising, and books…Amazon is a major player, and google has been digitally scanning every text ever printed (even breaching copyright along the way)…This method is one of the most directed as books often say so much about us…”you are what you read” might by true for many…anyway….when we are looking many enjoy the recommendations that go with it and the suggestions that accompany the subject…I’m all for it!

    …if you enjoyed reading this you may also like…and wish to try http://www...

  3. The Flying Scotsman says:

    Love the kindle and I’m hoping to get one myself soon but I hope advertising doesn’t creep in and destroy what is an enjoyable experience. I’m already bombarded by intrusive advertising that winds me up to no end. I’m ashamed to say that I’m an impulse buyer so I don’t need anymore individuals or corporations trying to flog me tat that I don’t need (but I might want). I fear that more advertising is inevitable but I’m not sure my bank balance can take it.

  4. badger blogger says:

    Granted advertising is all pervasive, but does it not also make products and services cheaper ? Would some of the above mentioned organisations even survive without the ad revenues? Surely some people would gladly put up with a few ads if it meant they could afford items they otherwise wouldnt be able to have, (or if they were like my brother were just too mean and stingy to cough up full price !).

  5. Personally, I don’t mind adverts. I’m so used to seeing adverts in my newspaper, on TV, or on billboards as I commute, that online adverts just seem to be an extension of the offline world. Buying consumer products helps to drive the economy. The fact that online adverts can be tailored specifically for me, is even better!

  6. Judge Jon says:

    What I like about downloading the Sunday paper on my kindle is that I just get news, no adverts, no unnecessary supplements and packaging. Simple.

  7. black flatfoot says:

    For me it depends on how I feel. Sometimes (in my “focused” phase) I can ignore ads easily. Sometimes (in my “creative” period) the distraction is more interesting than the task in hand. Unfortunately most times (in my pyscho state) it drives me nuts in which case sticking ads on a Kindle could cost me my sanity and result in many broken ones.

  8. cpurnell says:

    Spending so much time on screen during my working day means I suffer from serious screen fatigue. I would therefore much rather read an old fashioned book when it comes to my leisure time. News however I read online. Weird! Perhaps it is because each play different roles in my life.
    As for the advertising, as long as what is advertised is targeted and adds value to a person’s life then I don’t think people mind. It is only when the advertising is badly targeted or their personal information has been used inappropriately that people start to get annoyed.
    But you are right, perhaps there are smarter and more relevant ways to engage people with your product. However, on my first day back after the New Year, I am struggling to come up with an example for you.

    By the way, have you ever tried reading an Ipad or Kindle in the bath. Impossible unless you have one of those very handy over the bath book holders. But even then the experience isn’t the same.

  9. Anne says:

    Thanks Cora
    Definitely shows the way advertising is going. I don’t have a problem with ads per se, via email or recommendations when I am looking for something – what I do mind are ‘pop-ups’ when I am trying to read a web page which potentially translates to adverts in a story when I am following a plot. For me it crosses the line from helpful to annoying.

    You may be interested to know that among the instruction blurb these devices come with is the recommendation that they should not be used in the bath! Bless.

  10. mel says:

    I find adverts very distracting and irritating. It is the price we pay for the free services and information that is available to us on-line I suppose…


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