Internet Media Value Does Not Require Further Integration

April 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

In a comprehensive piece in AdWeek (“Too Many Moving Parts”) reported by Brian Morrissey and Mike Shields probing the online advertising success (or not) that Google has had apart from search, there is this little quote from Barry Salzman, who is currently working as Google’s Head of Media and Platforms for the Americas (on the same problem he was working while Head of Global Media at DoubleClick). Barry says:

“The really exciting opportunity was to come to Google…to execute on the very early DoubleClick vision. That was about recognizing that the Internet was a medium that would deliver unprecedented media value only by integrating technology with that media offering.”

Others may swallow this sort of commentary effortlessly. I choke and gag.

What does it mean, “…a medium that would deliver unprecedented media value only by integrating technology with that media offering”?

“Only by integrating technology”?

“Only”?

What does that mean, “only by integrating technology”?

Does it mean the Internet’s media value remains dormant pending some further integration with technology above and beyond the technology that gave life to it among audiences in the first place (setting fire to millions of acres of valuable traditional media property in the process)?

Does it mean there are integration codes necessary to awaken Internet media value that will make it unprecedented compared to other media, but otherwise it’s not unprecedented and we should be surprised that audiences seem so fascinated by it 15 years later?

What “media value” are we talking about here?

That’s mostly a rhetorical question, of course. The value Barry Salzman has been trying to isolate for years is in the audience data. He is joined by countless others that insist on looking past the obvious for something unprecedented, such as advertising that comes with our name on it (which I still get in the mailbox and throw away every day at home). Elsewhere, for instance, Michael Katz, President of interClick, was responding to the stone-throwing between ad networks and publishers in Mediaweek by observing “…that the promise of digital advertising is very bright. It will be driven by the efficiency and accountability afforded by technical innovation;” which in his world means “…that data will bring about higher ad rates for more valuable audiences, which ultimately benefits the publishers.”

Evidently, the publishers aren’t buying it, at least judging from comments in the same Mediaweek article meant to clarify the position of some of them (TheStreet.com for instance) regarding the bright future offered by the innovation of ad networks:

“We have run into these issues with other networks as well. Moreover, we believe that many other publishers have faced these issues. We believe there may be widespread unethical behavior in this segment of the industry, which a public airing may help to remedy.”

Great. Oh so valuable.

Regulators and privacy advocates aren’t any more sympathetic: there were more wasteful lawsuits last week against Google, Yahoo! and others over behavior targeting practices.

So, what greater, “unprecedented media value” is being unlocked here, and is the noise it’s making from the other side of the door convincing us it sounds like a good idea?

How about we stop fishing in our pockets for the keys and get comfortable with the media value of the Internet as it exists right now, on this side of the door, as furnished by all of the relevant content. Such value made the Internet big with audiences. Harvesting such value made Google rich. Promoting such value has been the simple desire of all web publishers. Sinking into such value offers visible comfort for all.

Accordingly, from his respected perch atop the Internet kingdom Barry Salzman might be inclined to say, “The really exciting opportunity was to come to Google recognizing that the Internet was a medium that would deliver unprecedented media value.”

Meaning, it comes integrated into the lives of audiences. Value included.

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