Monday, June 16, 2008

Now that it's in the NYT, the problem is real: social networks aren't making the $$ from ads they thought they would

NYT, June 15: MySpace Might Have Friends, but It Wants Ad Money

Here at Tipjoy we've been talking about this for months. The MySpace generation is not clicking on ads the way their older brethren are. Advertising relies on a very small sliver of the population (Dave Morgan, July 19, 2007):
"Ninety-nine percent of Web users do not click on ads on a monthly basis. Of the 1% that do, most only click once a month. Less than two tenths of one percent click more often. That tiny percentage makes up the vast majority of banner ad clicks."
And this sliver simply does not cut through the demographic of social network sites such as MySpace and Facebook.

And yet the executives cannot let go of advertising. They're still thinking, 'how can we tweak the ads to dupe people into clicking them?'

Instead of continuing to think in the old mindset of advertising, it's time for a new model. One that supports the social connections between people, and does it directly, not through an advertiser third party.

This younger generation has already proven that it is willing to voluntarily pay for the music of bands it likes like Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead. Young internet users are using the internet to connect to people personally and directly. They don't see the artists they love as 'icons' but rather as peers, friends, all part of the same community. By enabling a way for people to become patrons of the virtual content they love, we're fostering those connections in a way that advertising never can. The site owners and artists who realize this will be able to harness the power, and the pocketbooks, of their communities more successfully than advertising ever will.

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