Proponents will tell you the Internet must be better than those laughable measurement services of traditional media --- TV, magazines or radio. Internet micro-niche audiences are fanatical, can be tracked behaviorally, are ready to buy their niche-needed products, and, of course, are engaged as hell.
Still, traditional media executives --TV buyers, and the like -- continue to be unsure. That's why you still have the likes of NBC's Jeff Zucker and others whining how they don't know where this is all going. They're so uncertain they can't commit to giving TV writers a slender percentage stake in their respective unproven digital businesses.
TV buyers are not convinced viewers are watching, say, an entire episode of "30 Rock" -- or , if they are watching, how come they are deleting their cookies? They don't know if one 55-year-old male is watching from a specific computer, or his 17-year-old daughter. They don't know if his 15-year-old son has logged on to the same episode of "Jackass" from eight different computers.
Live plus seven days on the Internet? Try live plus 30 days, maybe 60 days when it comes to playback measurement.
Still, NBC or MTV executives might tell you the viewing experience is just plain better -- just a handful of ads, perhaps two or three 15-second spots during a specific show from the same single advertiser. Viewers certainly remember those commercials, they would say. Buying on the Internet has to be better. Networks will show you higher CPMs to prove it.
Marketers may complain, but Internet ad revenues keep climbing, suggesting advertisers take pleasure in love unrequited. Hopefully, they won't find themselves at the end of a bar at 2 a.m. moaning how they were wronged, how they should have seen it coming.
"I got mixed messages," sobbed one marketer. "It didn't add up."