Can Adnetworks be more exciting?

I was doing a lot of research over the last few days for a project, and being the net junkie that I am, a lot of it took place on the net.  While surfing, avoiding pop up’s, deliberate redirects and possibly every trick in the book for click fraud firms, I started to think about 2 words – advertising and internet.

In the Indian context I doubt whether anyone would oppose me if I said that Ad networks here are living and working with only banner ads, what I consider aging methodology. Banner’s, text ad’s, skyscrapers are slowly becoming and will die out as the preferred medium in the years to come, its already happening elsewhere. Why then are we so fixated on this format?

The answer has to be money and ROI eventually, everyone needs a return and turn over a profit as soon as possible, irrespective of the fund reservoir that they have, the fastest way to do this is to not actively be innovative but adopt and fight on platforms already existing in the market….and maybe that’s the problem, maybe that’s the reason for the clutter.

Saying one is CPM, another is a CPC is not good enough in my opinion. The inventory remains the same, its only the performance criterion which changes, and upping one level does not translate necessarily into better realization of goals.

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Networkplay and Gawker

Watblog ,today, carried an article on the alliance between Networkplay and Gawker Media and quoting it to be a steal as far as the advantage in terms of inventory acquisiton was concerned and implying that it wasa big step in the right direction.

I don’t think so and would probably care to disagree strongly at this juncture with that viewpoint. The fact of the matter is that Gawker is one ,of the many associations of sites , available to a smart publisher network manager. Firstly i dont see the connectivity between this alliance and Networkplay’s initial focus verticals which  are women and travel.

Secondly , having a 10% Indian footfall on a site which is ranked 4500 in Alexa is honestly just not that great. Leaving aside issues pertaining to the quality of inventory etc , the equation does not seem to allow for much even purely in terms of being able to achieve a deep inventory pool. While Alexa cannot be trusted , i can, thanks to having been in this role, gauge approximate relationships between rank and inventory , and it might be good at best,  but not exceptional.

Not only are there more site associations or large publishers , there are better ones as well and its not too dfficult picking them up as long as the pitch is right. Hey , its not too difficult getting them to switch networks either as long as the sensitivity to exectations caters to realization of issues which can be used against the existing network.

My apologies for not being more frequent with my postings. Thanks to everyone who wrote in – I shall try and pick up some of the topics suggested  , but i cant promise. However to all those who wrote about the Indian online space , rest assured that’s a topic i shall visit frequently.

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.

Tata Nano’s Bookings Opening Next Month

Tata Motors will be opening as many as 100 retail outlets next month to enable booking for the Nano.

Our dealers will open these special, retail counters to push sales,” Tata Motors managing director Ravi Kant said in an interview.

Tata officials have already started interacting with their dealers, updating them on the proposed bookings, dates for which have not been finalised.

“Supplies could start from August,” Kant said.

There are chances that the group could tie-up with a financial institution for bankrolling those keen on the product. Company sources said talks have started with both HDFC, Reliance Capital and ICICI. In addition, financing for the car will also be available from Tata Motors Finance.

Internet Connectivity in India worst in the world.

The theory that India suffered from the worst quality bandwidth, both in terms of speed, response and reliability was always more of a ‘unofficial fact’. A recent report released by Internettrafficreport.com has brought into light figures which now make it pretty official.

The site reports that overall Indian has an index of 74 with a response time of 253 milliseconds – which pretty much puts us in the backseat as far as this issue is concerned. Comparable countries like the USA has an index value of 98 and a response time of just 13 milliseconds. The higher the index the better , the lower the response time the better.

The hindubusinesline suggests that the reason for this is that despite having some of the best services, it is artificial choking and high prices that are to blame. Artificial cap restrict the availability and higher prices restrict smaller ISP’s from being able to buy the necessary bandwidth required to service their connections and thus eventually leads to a customer satisfaction nightmare.

Operator’s on the other had disagree and state that there is enough capacity and it is on a rise whereas prices are determined by ‘free market’ dynamics.

Irrespective of who is to blame or where the issue lies, it is vital for all concerned to improve the quality , reliability and overall customer satisfaction drastically. With Indian poised to be one of (if not the) largest Internet consumer with respect to connections, issues such as these hit deep and hard into slowing the overall growth of the industry with additional affects on the online advertising industry in India as well.  Unless we are able to reach a critical mass which results in a bulk of the large spenders moving online, or having online budgetary components the growth in internet advertising spends remains restricted as well.

My other thought on the matter is – If operators state supply to be more than demand in India, then why the hell am i still downloading at 10KBps on a 256kbps connection ?