Ad Sales On Muni Wireless Networks Yet Another Example Of Unrealistic Expectations

from the hype-hype-and-more-hype dept

Many of the hype-fuelled municipal WiFi plans made by various cities across the country involved free services supported by advertising. The party line was that businesses would love the chance to advertise to users in their immediate vicinity, while users would eat up the free services. Unsurprisingly, like muni WiFi in general, the actual deployments attempts at generating ad revenues have failed to live up to the inflated expectations. One of the biggest problems was that advertisers would have to do deals with individual networks, making it much more difficult to get make a wide ad buy than with other media like traditional web ads. That's starting to change, as a handful of companies are sprouting up to set up nationwide ad networks, allowing marketers to make purchases across multiple muni WiFi networks. That's a good step, but it's not a complete solution. Many networks have had teething problems that that have generated bad press and hardly encouraged usage, while the idea that businesses will pay a premium to advertise to local users may be oft-repeated, but remains unproven. One area where WiFi networks are seeing strong ad sales? Airports and hotels, where the attraction for marketers is a high number of business travelers. The different demographics of free municipal networks may not dictate the same level of demand.

Filed Under: muni wifi
Companies: jiwire


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  • identicon
    Brad, 31 Jul 2007 @ 8:52pm

    Muni Wi-Fi is a bad idea.

    What is the government good at? Do you depend on the government for cable TV? How about food? Movies? TV? Radio? The truth of the matter is that the government is good at lighting money on fire, and whooping it up in front of the media. What do the citizens get? They get a cobbled together piece of junk that doesn't do ANYTHING for ANYONE very well.
    If private industry comes in and competes with several products at several different prices, the consumer has a choice, and if the product stinks, the consumer can drop it, no love lost. If muni wi-fi stinks, the government will throw more money at it, and outlaw any competition to boost their own image.
    I don't care how much you doll up a piece of crap, it's still crap.
    And people actually believe that muni Wi-Fi is a good thing... get rid of the big bad phone companies. Get rid of the big bad cable companies. Get rid of private Wi-Fi providers. I hate to say it, but having a choice is better than being stuck with crap. And wait... the government is going to start charging money when they can't make it work for free.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 31 Jul 2007 @ 11:09pm

      Re: Muni Wi-Fi is a bad idea.

      And people actually believe that muni Wi-Fi is a good thing... get rid of the big bad phone companies. Get rid of the big bad cable companies. Get rid of private Wi-Fi providers.

      Brad, you seem confused. Nearly ever "muni-WiFi" deal is actually just a deal for rights of way for a private company to provide service. It's the same deal that most phone companies get. It's not the gov't providing the service, it's the gov't providing access for a private company to provide service.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ipzedge, 31 Jul 2007 @ 9:53pm

    Wi-Fi

    Wi-Fi provider coming to the USA and the world cheep
    let the government save the money for better things
    like feed the poor and keep them health.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris, 1 Aug 2007 @ 1:34am

    F.F.S. read a damn history book.

    For those who didn't notice, or didn't care to notice, back in the early 90's there was a thing called FREE dial-up. AOL, NetZero, Juno, and 100's of others. All these services allowed you to browse the internet for free so long as you didn't mind closing the additional pop-up's and all the other advertising that made the service possible. Well, long story short they don't exist any longer. There are people who are wiling to pay whatever it takes to not be bombarded by the relentless onslaught of advertisements. TiVO, XM, NetFlix, RSS text only news feeds, pirated movies, whatever it is someone is going to come along and create a way for you to get the content you want without all the other shit you have to endure to get to it in the first place. Provide the consumer with the good or service they want with the most direct means and you'll be sucessful. Dilute it with a bunch of irrelevance and the only thing you'll get is a smear; wether it's on your reputation or your quaterly reports will depend on how knee deep you decided to go.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 1 Aug 2007 @ 9:09am

      Re: F.F.S. read a damn history book.

      You're wrong. Juno and netzero are both still around (although I believe they combined). Some people really don't want to pay if they're only going to use it a little.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    4-80-sicks, 1 Aug 2007 @ 8:05am

    what's the problem again?

    I'm a little confused here...if the advantage of advertising on muni Wi-Fi is to reach local users in a business' immediate area, why the concern over advertising on multiple networks? Or is this just chain companies trying to use this? Perhaps Starbucks and McDonald's should be prohibited from advertising on muni, and only local, independent businesses allowed. Shouldn't a municipality support its own denizens and business operators?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anonymous coward, 1 Aug 2007 @ 2:11pm

    muni wifi is as dead as free dial-up.

    politicians and corporations teaming up to over promise and completely fail to deliver...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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