An oral history of the epic collision between journalism and digital technology, 1980 to the present

A project of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy

The Riptide blog

The Great Unwatched

The trend of analog marketing dollars becoming digital dimes supporting online content isn’t abating. Earlier this week, David Segal in The Times literally undressed the online video ad market and discovered – wait for it – that marketers may not be getting everything they’ve paid for when placing video ads onto online sites.

One of the most egregious examples, a company selling products described as “mom related” found some of its videos ads were appearing on pornographic websites. Of course, not all ads get played in the wrong places and many brands get great value by using online video spots. But as we explore in Chapter 11, The Advertising Rollercoaster, “Somewhere along the way, the advertising business left it in the riptide and made it to the beach.”

What we meant is that plenty of marketing dollars moved online – and the pull of video ad dollars is helping to continue that trend – but much of that money is no longer going to support online content, especially news sites. We wrote, “Moving ahead, however, it will certainly take significant innovation to alter the strong current of digital advertising away from print and, as audiences continue to migrate online, eventually away from television as well.”

It seems that innovation in the news business – even in video – is still getting pulled out to sea.

May 5, 2014, 8:25 am