Well I had this epiphany last week while going through the newspaper in the morning that we are so used to the ads in the news papers that we don’t see them as a hindrance in content consumption. Considering the ratio of content to adspace in ToI is roughly 1 ratio 20, I have never seen anyone complaining (except for my Dad who lost it this year during Diwali craziness of snapdeal and flipkart) about it being annoying. Same can not be said about online content consumption. No matter how smartly ad publishers push the advertisement messages inside the content, its bound to dilute the overall content experience.
While understandably the medium (internet) is new and we have challenges related to technology as well, but I think the challenge is not limited to the technology aspect of it, Its more to do with how the content is consumed. For example its more irritating to get an advertising on your cell phone where the popup covers the content you wish to read and the cross sign seems so difficult to hit.
Advertising is a necessary evil, more so on internet than your print publications. Because Advertising gives the content creator a mean to monetize the content. It motivates them to write and share more. It motivates the innovators to create apps for entertainment consumption. You need advertising to keep these individual contributors, thought leaders, influencers interested in sharing their thoughts. Though the technology in terms of placement of ads (read ad-words) and platforms for bidding for the advertisers have matured considerably same can not be said about the content consumption experience, especially on mobile devices.
I am quite optimistic that with likes of Google, Microsoft, Facebook placing their bets on the ad market place, things will soon sort out. There would be challenges and than some solutions will emerge which would make accessing the content a pleasurable experience for the end user. I really like the idea of subscription based model which you tube is contemplating which itunes so overwhelmingly endorses. Its also pleasurable to see the likes of NewsLaundry coming up with subscription based model for news content. It becomes even more important for the news sites to distance themselves from the advertisers which are mostly seen as negative influences in news space.
For advertisers internet is a pot of gold, Its a huge upgrade from the traditional advertising space primarily because you can quantify the results, Work on shorter budgets plus the dynamic nature of the medium gives consumer the options to interact with your advertisement which was never possible in conventional print and tvc. The advertiser or the business owner just needs to be a little judicious with their use of advertising as its also easier to put the consumer off which might negatively effect the brand.