We’ve collectively come a long way in the past ten or twenty years. Even further if we go back to the state the Web was at during its earliest days. The Web has turned into one of the world’s primary media distributors. Articles, songs, videos and more are streamed in real-time.
Much of this innovation has been driven by the revenue generated through advertising. Without advertising, webmasters would be unable to grow their websites or add content because it would not be financially sustainable. These three improvements are clear examples of how advertising has helped shape the technology behind Web use.
Websites have to compete for a user’s interest, which means that speed is essential. Advertisers are also working under the same constraints, these two entities sharing bandwidth. That means that both sides must develop strategies to serve content faster. That involves loading fewer elements that make the user wait. That’s driving pressure on telecom companies to provide better bandwidth services, and on developers to develop code that uses fewer assets.
Revenue generated from ads goes back into business development through hiring writers and maintaining a staff. Every blog that can hire an editor, a staff writer or a guest poster can provide high quality content thanks to advertising dollars. Even when a publisher attempts a subscription-based model, they find themselves using ads to supplement the income brought in by subscriptions. The print industry used free editions to try to entice users, the same way blogs of today use free but enticing content by writers paid to make it that way.
Today’s blogs are able to maintain their own level of independence thanks to their choice of advertisers. In previous forms of media, losing a large sponsor was a death note for the publication or media outlet. Today’s blogs and websites can cater to a variety of advertisers who come and go as they please. “Buy side platforms” match users interested in certain kinds of content, and fit a site’s demographics with ads targeted toward their interests.
The targeting is independent of the journalism, so the publisher does not need to worry as much about specific sponsors being driven away from controversial topics. Others are available to fill the void. This doesn’t give license to be flippant or rude, but it does free webmasters and bloggers to explore issues from many angles without fear of reprisal in the form of revenue.
Bio: As CEO of engage:BDR, Ted Dhanik is an evangelist for the technology behind digital marketing. Ted Dhanik has blogged for Venture Beat, AdAge and other prominent blogs, and has insight into both sides of this debate. Ted Dhanik and the team at engage:BDR are working hard to drive innovation in advertising that improves user experience.