Business journalism and interactive ads
Ken Doctor writes for Nieman Journalism Lab about the interactive advertising that is available on The Wall Street Journal‘s iPad app.
Doctor writes, “Of course, this new world of commercial swipes, taps, tilts and downloads is extremely measurable. WSJ’s Bernard notes that each ‘event’ — as our every touch of the tablet is called — can be recorded. Talk about metrics, data, and the emergence of conversion analytics. He notes that, at this point, ‘some advertisers ask for more event metrics, and some for less.’ Interestingly, the Journal isn’t selling such high-touch ads on the basis of their effectiveness, although we can see models emerging as pay-per-touch, alongside pay-per-click and pay-per-action. Rather, the Journal is making these ads part of its broader selling — some bundled with print and/or ‘online,’ some not.
“Bernard makes the point of how his product team — which serves both journalists and advertising staff — is focusing heavily on the tablet, given its unprecedented ability to get us to interact. He defines ‘mobile’ and ‘tablet’ separately for development purposes. The smartphone — with 257 million to be out there in America alone by 2016, according to Forrester — is a more elusive ad medium, its commercial potential so far under-realized. The tablet, though, with its print replacement + interaction abilities, offers game-changing selling and buying possibilities. For this interactive world, it’s beyond tilting and tapping — it’s time to shake, rattle, and roll the worlds of advertising.
“So, yes, while the Pew survey accurately shows the sorry state of advertising readiness at many sites, the potential of harvesting the newest of news-heavy technologies offers the promise of a reprieve. Yes, news companies may have been slow to the parties of search, social, video, and mobile, and most have unfortunately taken a go-slow approach to the tablet — but platforms like the iPad offer a way out of the ad desert Pew paints.
“In 2012, it’s still early, for both ad and editorial adoption of tablet benefits. ‘People are building toolkits,’ he said. ‘They are experimenting. They’re making things easier to build.’ If you are in the publishing business, are your people building toolkits, experimenting, and getting faster at time-to-market?”
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