It’s time for an online advertising paradigm shift!

by Jeff Hilimire on September 14, 2009

Pandora advertisements

I’m a Pandora user every now and again. I think they have a great service though typically I’m hooked to my iTunes when I need to slam on some headphones and actually get work done (it does happen, people).

So using Pandora this morning I heard an ad in the middle of my music.  This is the first time I’ve had this experience and actually, I didn’t mind it.

But it’s completely the wrong strategy.

As companies try to figure out how to actually generate revenue (GASP) from their online properties, they always fall into the trap of taking the marketing they are comfortable with from the “offline” world and forcing into the online world.  This is a problem.

You’ve seen it from the beginning.  Websites were created and we threw up what are essentially billboards in the form of online ads.  Heck we even named it the “information super highway” just so we’d feel better about ourselves for flooding the web with these billboards.

And yes, on the radio, I’m used to commercials.  But you don’t have to do that on the web!  What Pandora should be doing a better job of is monetizing the reason I’m there – to listen to music.  Make it easier for me to buy, to gift, to recommend, etc.  But don’t try to get me to see Matt Damon’s new movie or to get a new wireless carrier.  I’m interested in your music.

I think this is why Facebook and Twitter are waiting so long to really try to monetize their sites.  They know that online advertising is a thing of the past.  Sure, they’ll test it out, but they know there is something better out there waiting for them.  We’re all going to benefit from their forward-thinking strategy on this.

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