ninemsn - No Space in Digital Future For Search
EVER wondered what the people at ninemsn, Australia’s most popular online portal, think of the role Search does and will play in its business?
Didn’t think so, but for the record the answer is – not much.
In a speech on the where the web is heading over the next 10 years, ninemsn boss Tony Faure foresaw an online future dominated by personalisation, video, social networks and mobilisation.
Search was only mentioned in passing twice.
Once in relation to measuring customer satisfaction online (“we should be measuring search engines on the fewest number of page views per consumer because that tells us how well they're doing”), while Google was also referenced as the world’s most valuable media property.
However, the reasons for its success weren’t mentioned … odd in an address on consumer-driven online trends.
For the record, Google is Australia’s most visited website with almost 7.5% market share; ninemsn is second with 2.66%, according to recent Hitwise statistics.
Anyway, Faure did have some interesting things to say about online publishing in his speech to the Australasian Media and Broadcasting Congress, particularly about changing business model dynamics.
“It is really does look like free content supported by advertising is the business model that's going to work,” he said.
“That was not obvious and … (we) really hoped that what was going to drive us forward was subscription services … and advertising would be the icing on that particular cake.
“That looks really unlikely. It does look like consumers are happy with the proposition that they're going to get something for free but they'll accept advertising that goes with it at the same time.”
He also identified video “as the way that the consumer will prefer to get most of their information. Being able to figure out how to monetise that via advertising is a big challenge.”
Faure concluded with a few thoughts on advertising metrics.
“We hear a lot of people saying, you know, the problem that the internet and industry has is that there's no one metric that I can buy it all on and there's no simple metric that I can use.
“But there is no internet consumer who does something in the same way that people watch television, which is a relatively simple activity to monitor.
“In online you have - and in digital generally, a whole lot of different consumers who are interacting with a medium for a whole series of different reasons.
“If I'm on a search engine, then the less time I spend on it the better so we should be measuring search engines on the fewest number of page views that they per consumer because that tells us how well they're doing.
“If I look at something like MySpace or Messenger or Facebook, then a great indicator of how engaged I am, is how long I spend on that product.
“If I look at something like video where, typically, video segments are two or three minutes, you know, total time spent on video seems like a bit of a weird metric to use.
“And we should probably be looking at number of people who initiate a stream and get to the end of it.
“Mobile, again, will be different when that comes along. So I think, whilst it's very important that as an industry and as a company we work to define how we measure what it is that we're doing better and better, it's a mistake to think that there's a one size fits all.
“I really think when it comes to digital there isn't. And you've got to be able to know what it is that you're trying to measure.
“And on a final note, the other incredibly important thing that we're all trying to get our heads around at the moment is how do we help the brand advertisers, the FMCG advertisers who - the retail advertisers and so on, who have been fairly lukewarm in their embracing of digital to date?
“How do we help those guys figure out a really good way of measuring the brand impact of what they do?
“And online right now does a relatively good job of helping you understand what you're doing to sales but not a very good job, at the moment, of helping you understand what you're doing to your brand by putting it online.
“And I think we're, again, both collectively and as a company ourselves, we need to take the lead in trying very quickly to get some measurements there that are going to make sense for marketers.”
Search Engine Room: November 29, 2007
Australia's first Group Buying Summit was staged in Sydney on May 7, 2012. It was a good day with 135 delegates and lots great presentations. Speakers included:
Search Engine Room, Australia's original search event, is returning to Sydney in mid November, 2012.
Please subscribe to newsletter for event updates and if you have any queries, contact Martin Kelly.
Meanwhile, check out images from the last Search Engine Room below.