Web Informant #115: 22 June 1998:
The death of banner ads


Other than web site owners who collect revenues from advertising on their sites, I don't know very many people that like banner ads. And the latest reports are an encouraging sign that their death might be imminent. It couldn't happen fast enough for me.

Taken together, these trends make for tough times ahead for banners. And I predict that in another year we'll see fewer and fewer of them on our pages. Web advertising is a billion-dollar business, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau. Yet it is a slippery slope: should we add together a dollar for an ad that Microsoft bought on Netscape's site to the dollar for an ad that Netscape placed on Microsoft's? Did any real money actually change hands?

So if banners die off, where will all the real money currently invested in them go? How about towards sponsoring better sites? Maybe it is wishful thinking on my part, but all of us would benefit: we'd save on bandwidth, improve the content, and deliver goodwill and customers to the sponsors.

David Strom
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