Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bridging the Media Fragmentation Gap: What's on the Horizon? (Part 1 of 2)

Media buyers and sellers are constantly trying to determine the best solution to deal with media fragmentation and the departure from the traditional buying model that advertisers followed successfully for years.

What causes media fragmentation? Consider the following:
• According to Neilsen's “Television Audience 2007” report, the number of TV channels has increased over 53 percent from 1985 to 2007 going from 18.8 channels to 118.6.
• Blog tracking authority, Technorati, reports that every day more than 175,000 new blogs are created.
A July 2008 Netcraft Web Server Survey reveals that there are more than 175 million unique websites, and the Internet is increasing by 3 million new sites per month.

As these figures show, the media explosion over the past 20-plus years has left both buyers and sellers ill-equipped to deal with the growing number of media options available. It is difficult for media buyers to reach every available media outlet. Media sellers are also left to figure out how to represent an increasingly fragmented audience and guide them towards the relevant buyers.

Ad networks. Ad networks were once heralded as a solution. Buyers would benefit from the way ad networks aggregate smaller audiences and provide much more impressions cheaply for a single purchase. The sellers benefited from how ad networks aggregate buyers, offering a simple process for monitoring any left over inventory.

Still, ad networks were only a short-term solution. They don't effectively deal with the root issue behind media fragmentation. Networks provided no solution for making targeted media purchases more efficient in spite of media fragmentation.