It is before 5 AM and my mind is slowly waking up. Has it really been since April when I last posted here? Henry was born in May, so that makes sense. Finally losing sleep over work, and not because of the baby. Progress!
"Microsoft wants to kill the online advertising business". This was my favorite quote at the Right Media Open last week in Half Moon Bay, CA. The person I was speaking with is a very well respected industry insider. His point was that of Microsoft, Google, Time Warner, Yahoo, News Corp., IAC, etc., Microsoft has the most to lose from the success of online advertising, and the most to gain from its failure.
Steve Ballmer does not seem to agree. The week before I heard him say at Web 2.0 that Microsoft wants their online advertising business to represent 25% of their total revenue, or roughly $13 billion. A few days later they invested $240 million in Facebook for a 2% stake. Ballmer also said we could expect them to gobble up 20 or so online advertising companies a year. Here's to hoping I own a piece of one of them.
Yet according to Michael Estrin writing in today's iMedia Connection, the bigger threat to the online display advertising marketplace comes from Mozilla's new add-on, AdBlock Plus. Apparently it is capable of blocking out all display advertising on the web. You can filter based on the advertiser, ad network, etc. Kind of reminds me of the "Do Not Email Me" list (thanks CAN SPAM </sarcasm>). To all of my friends still in the online display advertising business, welcome to my world.
Does anyone know the current market share of Firefox? After years of successful pop-up bockers and other ad blocking software, could this potentially be the plug-in that hurts display advertising? Comments welcome.