Sticking to the Web

By Stone, Martha L. | Editor & Publisher, May 8, 1999 | Go to article overview
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Sticking to the Web

Stone, Martha L., Editor & Publisher

Ad-tech keynoters discuss online advertising

From rich media advertising to sticky applications to falling advertising CPMs or rising numbers of strategic partnerships and falling advertising budgets, the Ad-tech conference in San Francisco last week chronicled the fast-paced changes taking place within the world of online advertising.

Conference keynote speakers outlined industry trends and how they applied to their own businesses including media companies, advertising networks, portals, and Internet service providers.

New York Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. announced the development of the Times' planned "knowledge portal" but offered few clues as to what will accompany the new offering, or even when it will be launched.

Sulzberger said the Times has learned many lessons along the information highway, including that online newspapers and the Times specifically should do what they do best: journalism. Despite many online leaders' suggestions to the contrary, Sulzberger says journalists always will be needed to provide trusted information on the Web.

In another keynote, America Online CEO Bob Pittman dubbed the Internet as "the new printing press, the new industrial revolution," saying advertising on the Web is revolutionary because it offers the ability to inform and transact in a few clicks, compared with other mediums that require buyers to make an effort to purchase a product by dialing a phone or walking into a store.

Pittman compared AOL - boasting17 million subscribers - to newspaper subscriptions including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY with about 1 million subscribers apiece. He reported that AOL advertising revenues were now greater than People magazine at about $600 million; ESPN at about $500 million; and Business Week and USA TODAY at under $375 million each.

Pittman said its members are developing online commerce habits: 3% purchase online everyday and 6% research or window shop everyday. He said 15% shop once or twice per month while 31% research or window shop once or twice per month.

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Sticking to the Web


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