Yesterday FaceBook announced Beacon – an ad widget for eCommerce sites that asks the purchaser if they want the purchase in their FaceBook feed. One click and you’ve promoted the site and product while linking it to the reputation of the purchaser.
What’s slick about this is it removes the last shred of doubt that content is needed to deliver advertising. As Google has shown with search and FaceBook hopes work for Beacon – Context works just fine.
Of course that’s obvious – except to media companies that systematically under invest in IT and technology innovation. It’s not as if they have to develop the services themselves – they can do what most of them do for content – which is typically buy and distribute – not make.
Even the internal processes are similar – match audience interests with content/service, and program distribution to keep audience within the network if possible – or provide hooks so they return frequently.
What’s missing is the deep understanding of IT infrastructure and evolution – and a belief that investing in it can produce revenue every bit as good as investing in, and protecting content.
Until that happens media companies will remain protective about content and worried about declining ad revenue as it shifts to companies that understand a new model is here.