Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Old vs. New Media Advertising

The NYT reports:

A new analysis of online consumer data shows that large Web companies are learning more about people than ever from what they search for and do on the Internet, gathering clues about the tastes and preferences of a typical user several hundred times a month ...

The analysis, conducted for the New York Times by the research firm comScore, provides what advertising executives say is the first broad estimate of the amount of consumer data that is transmitted to Internet companies ...

Yahoo came out with the most data collection points in a month on its own sites—about 110 billion collections, or 811 for the average user. In addition, Yahoo has about 1,700 other opportunities to collect data about the average person on partner sites like eBay, where Yahoo sells the ads.

MySpace, which is owned by the News Corporation, and AOL, a unit of Time Warner, were not far behind ...

Traditional media companies come in far behind.

Condé Nast magazine sites, for example, have only 34 data collection events for the average site visitor each month. The numbers for other traditional media companies, as generated by comScore, were 45 for the New York Times Company; 49 for another newspaper company, the McClatchy Corporation; and 64 for the Walt Disney Company.


The rich troves of data at the fingertips of the biggest Internet companies are ... creating a new kind of digital divide within the industry. Traditional media companies, which collect far less data about visitors to their sites, are increasingly at a disadvantage when they compete for ad dollars.

The major television networks and magazine and newspaper companies “aren’t even in the same league,” said Linda Abraham, an executive vice president at comScore. “They can’t really play in this sandbox.”

During the Internet’s short life, most people have used a yardstick from traditional media to measure success: Audience size. Like magazines and newspapers, Web sites are most often ranked based on how many people visit them and how long they are there.

But on the Internet, advertisers are increasingly choosing where to place their ads based on how much sites know about Web surfers.

Charts here and here.

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