Thursday, December 7, 2006

Why, why, why?????

Every now and again I see news that really gets me wondering about some of our largest corporations. Microsoft, Yahoo, Adobe, what are you thinking??

Check out the story that just broke today regarding a relationship between Google and BSkyB.

BSkyB in Google Link Up

"Google’s AdSense technology, which brings up adverts relevant to search terms of users, would be deployed alongside BSkyB’s knowledge of its customers’ profiles and interests.

'This is a really, really big deal for us,” said Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman and chief executive. 'If it works, it will become our most lucrative deal from the get-go.'"

Basically it talks about British broadband Internet service provider BSkyB and Google getting together to serve BSkyB's users behaviorally-targeted rich media(video-based ads) ads (not the text variety that broadband sluggish US consumers are used to seeing on Google. In other words users of BSkyB can get rich media ads instead of text based on their interests as exhibited by their online behavior patterns. Nothing short of genius if handled properly (as long as it adds value to the user, not just more obnoxious messaging).

So back to the reason for this piece. Why does Google always seem to be the first to these huge, industry shifting developments? I have to think that Microsoft could have nailed this months if not years ago. Adobe, with the capabilities and market penetration of their Flash application surely could have partnered with someone to pull this off, right? I do not know if this is a credit to Google's genius or an indictment of the rest of these slow to move bureaucratic dinosaurs. Wake up everyone but Google!! Get into the game. You wanna talk serious revenue? How about billions of ad dollars at play in a rapidly changing environment, but instead let's keep playing catch up on video game consoles and mp3 players. But wait, those might have a viable ad model sometime in the next 10 years. This is laughable. Why don't they innovate to own today's money and look to tie in other initiatives with a related ad model later (music, video games, etc.)?

You might be asking yourself - "Well, smart guy you are int he new media industry, why didn't you come up with and execute this model?" Funny if you are thinking that. Speaking of missed opportunity for those that claim to be seeking it out. I happened to write a grant about 6 months ago for a strikingly similar application to what Google and BSkyB are doing. There are a few differences - our (MediaSauce's) model leverages Flash, does not require a set top box to host ads - they would be hosted by the network who is putting out the content - their servers - the interface could live within a public browser or exist on the user's desktop if they so choose to directly deliver content. There is much more to our model, but as it relates to delivering content based on tags and user behavior, it's bascially the same concept. Oh, what happened to the grant?

Well, the grant was submitted (I will protect the names of the innocent) and it was handed to a review board consisting mostly of academic "experts" at multiple universities throughout the country. These "experts" ended up not recommending this application development for the grant. In their expert opinion this was no different than a simple media player, would scare off users and had no real market value.

Hmmmm. You think Microsoft, Yahoo and others are taking advice from these same academic experts while they watch Google clean house?

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