An interesting interview with Professor Stephen P. Bradley on the Harvard Business Review web site, about his research for a forthcoming book titled Broadband: Remaking the Advertising Industry.

The background to the research:

We are looking at industries that are being transformed by broadband such as the news and information industry-the younger you get, the more you get your news strictly online. Who reads newspapers? Old guys. So this is an industry that is being dramatically transformed.

As broadband enables new forms of entertainment and new ways to consume and manage media we see radical transformation in the music and television industries as well. Their audiences are fragmented and people are demanding mobility, immediacy, and control over their media consumption.

This makes some industries’ traditional business and delivery models no longer viable. The networks, for instance, struggled with a time-shift in television viewing as digital video recorders (DVR) became commonplace. With broadband they must now also contend with a place-shift. The family no longer sits in the living room together with all eyes focused on the television.

But this is the key observation made in the article (and one that I fully agree with):

Advertising companies have been transformed because they are now media companies. The dollars they receive from their overall media businesses are much higher percentages compared with the pure advertising portion of it. It’s the connectedness between the traditional ads and online that counts. In the online world you can link your advertisements to action; that’s the difference. If you’re willing to click, it links you to a potential transaction or at least to get more information, which can then pull you in further. The ease of broadband gets people much more integrated and interactive, much closer to doing a transaction.

A very worthwhile read.