If the Web Were a Soap Opera, Google and the IAB Would Be Sleeping Together
My wife still loves soap operas. Back in the day, I’d go see her between college classes and be forced to sit through the latest escapades of Erica Kane or Luke and Laura. Oh, what I endured.
I’m convinced that Google and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) are the Internet’s equivalent of soap opera vixens. From what I remember, in Pine Valley, Port Charles or any of your favorite soap opera towns, to sleep with the most powerful you would screw everyone else first. Continuing their ongoing efforts to stick it to publishers and other companies, both Google and the IAB are up to some new tricks.
It’s obvious that Google’s announcement this week of the new Ad Planner audience measurement platform will take business away from established companies like Nielsen and comScore, as well as smaller players like Quantcast, Hitwise and Compete. According to MediaWeek, Google didn’t offer any specifics regarding where the data for Ad Planner will come from, but I honestly don’t think you need to look any further than the Web History it saves for each Google Account (mine is turned off by the way), your iGoogle Widgets and Google Bookmarks, combined with Web site data from AdSense, Google Analytics and its more recent offering, Google Benchmarking. All of these products serve as constant reminders that, as Bob Sacks says, Big Brother is watching, and nothing in life is free.
Then there’s the IAB announcement of a “small publisher” membership for Web sites with less than $1 million in advertising. “Great,” I thought. I’ll submit each of our publication Web sites separately and finally tout us as an IAB member! Not so fast.
What the IAB neglects to tell you is that this new category of membership is designed specifically for small publishers, which it defines as a company selling online inventory and having interactive revenues of less than $1 million and five or fewer full-time employees. We’re still being forced to pay $10,000 in annual dues for member benefits that I’m just not too sure about. Thanks, but I’ll pass.
Google is a member of the IAB, but just like soap operas where one day two characters are under the covers, and the next day you find out they’re related to each other, there’s no telling what these two will be up to next.