Disclosure: Sparksheet is published by Spafax, a WPP company.
Will the iPad and its dozens of competitors launched at CES finally get advertisers to spend money on digital? Are tablets going to save the day for revenue-starved publishers?
I get the feeling that many of the print owners who once saw tablets as a Valhalla are now a little more concerned as to whether or not this can deliver any meaningful benefit.
What remains critical is how The Times of London does with its subscription model, how Murdoch’s new initiatives like The Daily – News Corp’s new “iPad newspaper” – perform.
But in terms of the iPad, I’ve generally detected a bit more cynicism in the last few weeks – not cynicism, concern – that when it comes to developing significant revenues, things aren’t going to work out quite as people thought they would.
Tell me about the increasing importance of data in the advertising world. Is that entirely due to digital?
No, not entirely due to digital. It dates back to the old quote by John Wanamaker or Lord Leverhulme or the other 25,000 people who are claimed to have said, “I know half my advertising spend is wasted, I just don’t know which half.”
Data was important well before the digital age. But with the advent of online media and cable and IPTV people are becoming more concerned about measurement and ROI. And the fact is that we now have the ability to measure in ways we didn’t before.
Speaking of metrics, is Groupon really worth $6 billion?
Oh, who knows? I mean somebody at the Telegraph reminded me recently that in 2008 I had sort of hinted that $15 billion was a high valuation for Facebook, so what did I think of $50 billion!?
Apparently Goldman Sachs valued it that way but you’ve got to be careful as it might not be pure equity and their valuation is 25 times their revenues! That said, it does appear from some of the information coming out that Facebook is profitable and has decent margins at low levels of revenue.
So who knows – maybe Facebook really is a money-making machine!
As for Groupon, it’s an interesting concept but it’s a coupon concept – a promotion concept. It’s very difficult to conceive of a company that started two years ago being worth $6 billion now, but who knows?
Are you still as enthusiastic about the BRIC economies as you were last year?
More so. Actually, what was really interesting in 2010 is that America bit back and traditional media bit back.
But although America will do well again, I think 2011 will see yet another rebalancing in favour of the BRICs and “the next 11.” They were the last into the recession and in the last few months India and China have surged yet again.