There’s a couple of nicely conflicting stories out there about large marketers resisting, or embracing blogs this week. Firstly, MSNBC bought space on over 800 blogs via BlogAds, which incidentally, is the largest ever Blogads buy.
Secondly, MediaPost are running a story on big marketers continued resistence to blogs.
From The MP story:
The reasons for this aren’t hard to discern. By their very nature, blogs deprive marketers of the control they’ve come to expect: a company’s ad could conceivably sit next to a post ripping its product or brand. Media firms have also expressed concerns about scale, worrying that only a handful of blogs will ever achieve anything resembling critical mass.
The former issue won’t be addressed anytime soon–to install even a thin layer of restraint would rob blogs of their reason for being–but the blog community has marshaled its resources to address the latter. Following the lead of Gawker Media and Weblogs Inc. (for which aol spent some $20 million), bloggers have allied themselves with networks that aggregate sites to make them more appealing to advertisers. In October, a gaggle of 70 widely read bloggers joined forces as Open Source Media, with plans to showcase blogs next to news headlines.
Well yeh, that’s all very jolly, but it doesn’t address the issue that irks me more than anything else: Blogs en masse need monetizing. Not just those (un?)fortunate enough to be invited into a medium-large network, though that IS a start.
When Adwords brings out it’s “blogs only” advertising chanel (yes, that is pure speculation) we’ll be a step even further, but even then it won’t be enough. Who’s gonna step up to the plate and fill the need here?
On a more positive note, the MSNBC deal with Henry Copelands BlogAds is more than encouraging. It does rather clear the path for other large players to start making sizable buys in the blog ad space. Here’s what Henry had to say to Jim Turner:
This is a nice way to end 2005. To give you some personal context, this is biggest blogad buy ever — 800 blogs. This is more ads than Blogads.com sold in the entirety of 2003. (The previous record was held by Audi, which ordered ads on 286 blogs last spring.) I’ll leave it to the media mavens among you to figure out the larger ramifications, but for me this is just a darn pleasant way to end a good year.
So if MSNBC are going to push the boat out on Blog advertising, who’s going to follow, and more importantly, who’s going to profit?