If you follow any of the trends in the advertising world, the signs are pretty obvious that the traditional form of ads, whether print or more recently banner ads, is dead!
First of all, what finally killed the traditional ad was a combination of factors.
As print essentially died, circulation went on a death spiral and obviously so did ad results.
Secondly, the new form of ad units themselves became incredibly intrusive and disruptive to the digital experience.
No one liked the annoying popups or banner ads that appear while you are waiting to watch your fav video or read a story that has your interest.
And third, the ad blocker technology has taken off and finally put a nail in the ad coffin!
Check out this article from last year on their growth and the revenue it is costing advertisers.
So, is this good news or bad news?
Depends how you look at it. If you are a media company, you hate to lose any source of potential revenue stream. But if you are a consumer of news and content, it’s a welcome trend.
Can media win in this climate? Clearly yes.
Just look at the recent sale of Bisnow, a leading publisher in the real estate world to understand what's working and what's not in the digital ad world. According to their announcement, the majority of their revenue came not from ads, but from events! And that obviously was good enough to command a significant sale price of $50 million.
But it's also worth paying attention to the recent headlines concerning BuzzFeed or Mashable to see how the media darlings of recent times are now struggling. I am very curious to see how this plays out.
Can these developments finally result in something that is a win-win for both the publishers and the consumers?
In my opinion, yes!
As a result of these colliding trends, native advertising and Content Marketing have emerged as powerful new solutions for brands and platforms. I do believe that consumers benefit because, when done well, they are getting original content written by brands or the media that is more interesting than a promotional ad ever could be. In the real estate space where I am personally focused, I am building an entire platform to house and create this type of content.
It can potentially be a win-win-win for consumers, brands and media alike with ads being replaced by content that people actually want to read, learn from and share.