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.

Continue reading

Advertisements

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.

Pricesbolo – the indian price comparison website

With online shopping all set to take off in India and players getting prepped for it , a site like pricesbolo was no brainer…. but the site has one unique advantage over its colleagues and that is the fact that it reflects prices from offline merchants as well and does not aggregate prices from online stores only…

The services are currently offered in 2 cities i.e Chennai and Bangalore and has been launched by emmosys technologies private ltd. I am very curious to try out the services but unfortunately with Delhi not on the list yet , i have no choice but to wait.

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 ?

Expedia In India

The US based online travel company Expedia is finally in India with expedia.co.in. The company had recorded a turnover of close to 20 Billion dollars last year and are operating in 17 countries.

The online travel  industry here is estimated to be a 2 billion USD plus in2007 – 2008 and Expedia’s entry , other than strategic, also holds and add’s support to the projections.

The site will offer access to over 75000 hotels and resorts and 3000 destination activities.  worldwide. I am eagerly looking forward to how some of the other established players will react now.

Hottest Startup’s 2008 India

Livemint published a report a few days back highlight the top 10 (hottest) startup’s to look out for in 2008 from the India perspective. These companies stood out from the others in terms of their services and products offered, business models and founder credentials.

The reference points for the research were forums such as proto.in, NASSCOM  and MoDeMo

The list included

Sloka Telecom Pvt Ltd

DimDim Inc

Ziva Software 

Novatium Solutions 

Ixigo.com 

MobME Wireless Solutions 

Anantara Solutions Pvt Ltd 

Tyroo Media Pvt Ltd

Mango Technologies

Zoho 

Read the full story here.