E-Commerce Sites Realizing They're Media Properties Too
from the blurring-lines dept
We’ve talked a lot about the fact that adveritisng is content and content is advertising. But, it seems worth mixing a bit of e-commerce into that story as well. As we’ve been noting (separately), many of the business models that work today have a strong direct-to-consumer component — giving them a “reason to buy.” And, in fact, here at Techdirt, we’ve begun to blur those lines ourselves — with various community offerings, including unique opportunities for companies to participate and/or sponsor online conversations, but also with our own CwF+RtB offering, which is really an e-commerce setup.
In the long run, business models are going to combine all these different elements. As we’ve noted, one of the key scarcities out there is attention — and that’s been the arena that the media business has always been in.
So perhaps it shouldn’t be all that surprising to see traditional e-commerce players beginning to realize this themselves from the other direction. That is, many large online retailers are suddenly recognizing that they get a lot of traffic and they can sell that traffic to advertisers (including advertisers from their own competitors) at a nice premium. Of course, I’m not convinced that traditional banner/text advertising will really be all that lucrative in the long term, but it would be interesting to see online retailers work harder at giving people additional reasons to visit their sites beyond just the products alone. We’ve seen some glimpses of this, such as when Amazon tried to do an online talk show, but I’d bet that we’re going to start seeing some much more creative online retail efforts that introduce “content” into the mix more effectively to create other types of scarcities.