Despite Hype, Post-PC Platforms Offer Limited Ad Opps

  • by February 20, 2001
With enormous hype surrounding early Internet wireless and interactive TV ventures, it's no surprise that advertisers are jumping on the post-pc channels to reach new economy consumers.

But, will wireless devices, interactive television and Internet kiosks really reach the audience they are looking for? Will consumers be receptive to receiving ads over their wireless devices? What is the revenue potential for selling advertising on what the industry is dubbing "post-pc platforms"?

Jupiter Media Metrix today announced that small and fragmented wireless and interactive television audiences in the U.S. will limit advertising opportunities on post-PC platforms, making them secondary digital marketing vehicles. According to a new Jupiter Research report released today, the post-PC audience (wireless devices, interactive television and Internet kiosks) will reach critical mass by 2005 - however, the PC will continue to dominate with a 74% Internet household penetration and 68% Internet individual penetration.

Jupiter analysts expect advertisers will be slow to allocate dollars for campaigns on post-PC platforms as they struggle to gain and control the key benefits of advertising on these devices. Jupiter analysts advise marketers targeting the post-PC audience to view them as "modal targets" - or distinct groups of individuals with similar behaviors and attitudes that stem closely from their use of any Internet-enabled device -- as opposed to the more common audience segmentation characteristics of demographics, geography and gender.

"Marketers that believe they can overcome the limitations of interactive and wireless devices as branding vehicles miss the point. To maximize ad campaigns on these devices, advertisers must isolate and understand the attributes of modal targets, and match the marketing message to the objectives of the consumer using the device - not their demographic profiles," said Marissa Gluck, senior analyst at Jupiter. "Post-PC ad opportunities are a need-to-have for a few categories of advertisers and only a nice-to-have for most."

According to a Jupiter Executive Survey, although 77% of advertisers spent nothing on wireless advertising last year and 82% spent nothing on iTV (interactive television), 36% plan do to the same this year for wireless devices and 57% for iTV. Based on these findings, Jupiter analysts expect to see only modest revenue increases for post-PC platforms in the near future. Audience fragmentation across different types of post-PC devices and networks will be a major hurdle for advertisers looking to reach customers on these platforms.

While Jupiter expects online ad revenues to reach 16 billion dollars by 2005, post-PC advertising revenues will climb slowly and trail behind -- iTV will reach only four billion dollars and wireless 700 million dollars by 2005. Jupiter analysts believe, however, that while wireless ads have the advantage of immediacy (reaching consumers closer to when a

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