How Google Will Make Money in Print

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From Wall Street Journal:

In a sign of how the Internet is rebounding, Jupiter predicts that marketers will spend $8.4 billion on online advertising in 2004, while earmarking $12.2 billion for magazines. In 2007, the two platforms each will get $13.8 billion. In 2008, online ad spending surges ahead, capturing $15 billion, compared to magazines’ $14.5 billion, Jupiter predicts. The gap widens in 2009. The Jupiter forecast is set to be released Wednesday.

One of the most interesting concepts to me is the possible hybridization of online and print advertising. I read recently that Patrick Keane, former Jupiter analyst (he covered the content subscription space for some time and back in 1999 we flew him to Utah to consult with Ancestry.com), is apparently an employee at Google and he is exploring ways to extend AdSense to print.

Imagine this: future magazines and newspapers could algorithmically match Google ads with the content of the columns that are being published. The highest bidder would get placement in print. Each column could have a sidebar with the ads most relevant to the reader. It might end up being a service to the reader as well as a revenue source for the publisher.

People may challenge this future possibility by saying that the results of such advertising will not be measurable; but that is only if they aren’t following technology like the Anoto pen, or cell-phone/wireless wallets, or even www.jumptech.com which beginning in 1998 started bridging paper with internet transactions. The devices aren’t here yet, but surely they are coming, first to Asia and Europe, and then to the US.

I actually think it is possible that by 2008 Google gets a large chunk of the $15 billion in online advertising as well as a small but growing slice of the magazine and newspaper advertising revenue that is forecast by Jupiter, by extending their online advertisers beyond content based web sites to print publications. It seems like a very natural progression to me, and one that will be welcomed by many print publishers who can spend less time and money selling ads.

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