It means the Ad model is winning.
If you sell content, media or applications online, I have good news, and I have bad news.
The good news is that it turns out consumers will pay for it! Woo-hooo!
The bad news is that they won’t pay money, just attention.
The media sages and digerati are all a-Twitter with commentary on the economic, social, and technical implications of Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Yahoo!, but for those of us in the extended digital ad space, the primary implication couldn’t be more clear: In the share battle among the big three online revenue models – Purchase, Subscription, and Advertising – the advertising model is winning.
Microsoft has accepted – embraced even – what some in the newspaper, magazine, video, music, and software businesses are trying hard to ignore:
Given the choice between paying for something and getting it for free, people prefer free.
Given the above, you either need to a.) make sure your product isn’t available for free, or b.) find an economic model that doesn’t depend on people paying for it. If you choose b.), advertising is something you probably need to explore, understand and master, pronto.
Since it’s hard to argue whether the above is true, we seem intent on arguing whether or not it’s good. Advocates for “liberating” intellectual property of all kinds celebrate the “democratization” of art and commerce online, while detractors point to squandering a whole generation of people with genuine talent and insight who are now unable to make a living in the application of those gifts for the greater good of society…. continued on my column in Adotas here.