Vertical Ad Networks Vs Horizontal – The Ongoing debate

There’s been some buzz now for a few months over Vertical ad-networks coming into the industry and the impact that they will create. It was , too obvious, that there will eventually be a confrontation between the networks already established in the Indian market ( read : Horizontal) and the new kids on the block like Webchutney’s Go-Sindbad and Divanation and it would only be a matter of time before the industry starts debating with respect to the pro’s and con’s of both , and media planners wonder which ones to go for.

For me , surprisingly i should add , it appears to be rather simple. The major driving force behind the argument for Vertical networks is that they contain sites which are similar in terms of what they are catering to i.e travel , the sites included in such a network would cater to hotels , air fares, train bookings etc etc , each with an individual objective but related to a larger singular category – the assumption being that such a vertical will thus offer the best exposure to a travel related advertiser given the relevancy which exists and since its so relevant , advertisers in turn would pay a premium which consequently would drive up eCPM’s for the publishers and everyone’s happy.

Sounds good for everyone , but unfortunately that’s not they way its necessarily going to work for a few reasons in my opinion.

1. What is so different between a vertical network and a horizontal network offering the same channel with equatable strength ? In some ways, a specialized channel for a horizontal is nothing but a vertical network in itself. All that a Horizontal needs to ensure is channel targeting and then add further targeting options.

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Iphone India – vodaphone announces prices

OH dear oh Dear…

Vodaphone has announced its costing for the Iphone 3G its plans on releasing on the 22nd Of August 2008 , and i dont think anyone who has been waiting for it is going to be very happy with the price.

Roughly around 31,000 for the 8 GB unit

Roughly around 36,000 for the 16 GB unit.

And thats not the end of it , data and voice plans are going to cost extra.

Airtel’s pricing is still due and one can hope that their rates are better than this. These price points are even higher than those found in the US when the Iphone first came out. I would consider it a sheer waste of money and nothing else to purchase either of these 2 models and stick with the Nokia N 95’s which provide excellent functionality as well.

In my last post on this i had mentioned how thrilled i would be to see the monopoly in the market by a few small time internet sellers fade away , but I am afraid that at these prices , the grey market is going to flourish even more.

Airtel ofcourse still needs to release their prices , but is this an indication of what these providers are looking at ? An opportunity exists for Airtel now , to be in the front purely basis price differentiation, assuming they price it lower, but for many its not simply going to be a case where Airtel is cheaper than Vodaphone , it needs to be a substantial difference.

What say you guys? Would you buy them at this price?

I Phone Date Announced for India

Airtel has finally given the launch date for the eagerly awaited I-Phone in India.  As of August 22nd 2008 , one will be able to purchase an I-Phone from Airtel relationship centers across India.

The price has still not been released and i concur with the reasons given by Trak.in , which suggest that the strongest possible reasons are :-

1. Street expectations for the price are around 16,000-18,000. Its possible that Airtel plans on releasing this at a higher level which would in turn affect sales. By announcing it early,it would give consumers time to look at it rationally and go in for cheaper options.

2. They have no idea on what Vodapohone plans on doing and are waiting as much as they can to get clarity on their strategy and price it accordingly.

Good news for everyone waiting for this gadget. I hope that the pricing is attractive as well.

The other parties which will get affected are all the small players who have been selling the Iphone in India , through the internet, for as much as 28 , 000 – 30,000 given the scenario. Their days of literally having a bit of a monopoly are over.

Interview with Foodiebay.com!

I got a chance to catch up with Pankaj Chaddah , one of the founding members for foodiebay.com , over email recently and he generously consented to a small interview which is published below. For those unaware , Foodiebay is an initiative by group of IIT Delhi guys and Alumni and is essentially a restaurant directory covering the Delhi , Noida and Gurgaon area.

You might ask or suggest that this is just another fish in the pond, but the differentiator for this site among all the others is the strong menu resource ( An idea i was hoping to capitalize on sometime, and now out of the window 🙂 ) . All the restaurants covered have their menus scanned to the site as well and gives you a more accurate picture of the food variety and importantly prices as well. In my opinion , its a an excellent feature and if updated and handled properly over the coming months will be a significant traffic generator as well.

Enough of me , lets have a word with Pankaj :-

What made you start the site? Is there enough of an opportunity for a resource like this ??

The stack of menus that our company used to order food from various places actually inspired us to start the site. Since then a whole lot of users have stopped filing menus in their drawers and are using the website exclusively for home delivery purposes.There is enough opportunity for this resource , a similar website in the US , menupages.com , is very popular.

One of the best things i like about the site is that fact that it has menus available. In my opinion, it hs to be one of the strongest points for the site..

Totally !! This is the core of the website. The whole website is modeled to be the ultimate menu resource either for home delivery or as a reference for eating out.

How do you procure the menu’s? Is there a field team doing it? I know there is an upload menu feature on the site but how many owners actually use it?

Yes , we have a field team. The upload menu feature has actually never been used so far (maybe the restaurant owners are not very internet savvy ) but we have received a lot of emails from owners requesting us to put their menu’s online.

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