A new way to buy online adverts
Online advertising is one of the biggest growth industries in the world. As traditional advertising avenues such as newspapers and television are seeing decreasing returns, it seems the power of online advertising only continues to grow.
To illustrate the scale of online advertising, it is estimated that online advertisers will outspend television advertisers by US$40bn in 2018. This will make the internet the biggest advertising medium in the world, with its total share estimated to rise to 44% of all global advertising by 2020.
It looks like one high profile casualty of the internet might well be traditional print media. Newspapers across the world are scrambling to diversify their income streams in order to deal with the possibly existential threat of more convenient online news services. One good example of this is the Guardian, a newspaper with a non-traditional financial trust model which is branching out into new areas in order to stay afloat.
Its most recent venture is an effort to own the online newspaper advertising game by launching the Ozone Project, a joint venture with News UK and the Telegraph. This new company will act as a one stop shop for advertisers, allowing them to purchase online advertising space on the Guardian, Sun, Times and Telegraph websites in one go rather than having to ring four different newspapers.
By providing convenience and expertise in one place these UK newspapers hope that some of the money which is spent on google and facebook will instead be spent with the more traditional news services. With a series of tough financial outlooks being published in the recent past, an innovative move like this could well make a big difference.
It might not seem important at first glance, but ensuring that a range of newspapers can afford to function is important for plurality and democracy. The recent well-publicised privacy and data scandals involving Facebook show the dangers of too much money and influence being held by only one of two multinational companies. If newspapers cannot afford to function then all we will be left with is technology companies who might not have our best interests at heart.
If online advertising is going to be the future – and it is certainly well on the way to being so – then it is vital that companies like the Ozone Project are allowed to flourish.