Mergers & acquisitions

Some Ads With Your Ad?

5:15 PM -- With all this YouTube Inc. babble, you've got to wonder about the future of content and advertising.

Yes, YouTube leads the world in mediocre grainy amateur video -- but it's also got boatloads of advertising disguised as content! The line between ads and content is blurring. Viral ads, where advertising agencies concoct commercial messages to spread over the Internet disguised as amateur content, are on the rise. For example, on YouTube, you have P. Diddy hawking burgers.

And now, because of Tivo, more content companies are striking deals for product placements to put the ad directly in TV content itself. This all comes as we've seen the rise of astroturfing, or faux grass-roots blogging.

It kind of makes you wonder where this is all going. You see with Google buying YouTube, it obviously wants another place to sell contextual advertising. But in many cases, won't it just be contextual advertising for other advertisements?

The Internet appears to be heading to some sort of infinite cornucopia of ads: A hall-of-mirrors of commercial content.

Speaking of commercial interests -- has anybody noticed that YouTube was funded by Sequoia Capital . And Michael Moritz, a Sequoia Partner, is on the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) board? Excuse me while I sit back for my 1999 flashbacks...

— R. Scott Raynovich, Commercial Advertiser in Chief, Light Reading

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