Unconvinced the only reason for the switch from IPv4 to IPv6 centers on the ability to connect more devices to the Internet and online content, I took the question to the engineering community. I've been thinking about this for more than a year, asking advertising and marketing folks their opinions on the topic. Few know about the next generation protocol. So here are a few reasons the ad industry needs to know.
Even with the proliferation of devices that rely on an Internet protocol (IP) address to connect to the Internet or collect data from Web sites, few knew IPv4, the current IP iteration, would run out of address this year or how it might affect online advertising.
Google, Yahoo and Facebook, along with Akamai, Limelight and the Internet Society last week revealed the companies will test IPv6 June 8 on their respective Web sites. Google has been testing the protocol on a separate site since March 2008.
This is a topic with which all marketers, agencies and advertisers should become aware. If you don't think it will influence advertising, location-based platform and sensor networks you will use to design campaigns, go ahead bury your head in the sand and move on to another topic.
The Internet Society and Google insist the main impact to advertisers remain the ability for more devices to connect to the Internet seems logical, there are many more reasons why these companies might want Web sites to make the switch.
Mike Afergan, chief technology officer at Akamai, believes as innovators, the ecosystem of online advertisers should become one industry leading the charge to the next generation of Internet protocol, as well as use IPv6-enabled platforms.
"This will help to solve the chicken-and-egg problem with IPv6--not as much supply because of not as much demand--and help us realize the promise of online advertising sooner," he says. "Specifically, this means working with publishers who support IPv6 and ensuring the ad technology used such as ad server and DSPs support IPv6."
IPv6 will allow every individual on Earth to have multiple devices that connect to the Internet without delay. Google says "this is foundational and it preserves what is already possible on the Web to continue."
Apparently some engineers believe there are many features that could be improved on in online advertising. One anonymous person responding to a blog question I posted writes IPv6 brings mobile IP, peering and multicast, rather than broadcast, to online advertising.
IPv6 affects the underlying address system of the Internet supports operating systems, routers, Internet service providers and Web services. If it works as intended, consumers will not see a visible difference, but have uninterrupted continuous service.
Most location-based advertising services rely on IP addresses to determine coordinates. Matteo Bertozzi,, who holds BSc and MSc degrees in Telecommunications Networks from Politecnico di Milano, explains in a blog post the use of IP sensors can collect, in near real time, parameters related to the number of people in a hall, energy consumption, number of mobile handsets, humidity, and temperature -- and then automatically negotiate with hotspot switches and routers on-demand connections, bandwidth, and other systems connected to Internet services.
Disruptive technologies will emerge. Vidder.com has developed an IPv6 webcast application. It lets companies and people transmit to the Web without equipment from their own PC. It eliminates the need for broadcast equipment, servers, and expensive camera, explains Junaid Islam, founder, president and CTO.
Think about all the uses for IP addresses and how IPv6 might influence the way marketers and advertisers serve up ads and content, as well as collect and share data. Then tell the MediaPost community if and how your company relies on IP addresses for data, whether via wired or wireless or otherwise?Is your company developing platforms and applications that will change advertising forever?
Through the free Web site tool Google Analytics, the search engine gathers data about how site visitors interacts content through IP addresses and sends the information to its servers for processing. The process has become a sore spot for German officials who have stringent privacy laws and warn Web companies they could face steep fines if they continue to use the tool.