Rich media vendors (RMVs) play a prominent role in the online advertising ecosystem. They bridge the complexity gap between the buy side and publishers. Without them, rich media advertising would not come as far as it has. Without them, nobody would be calling 2005 the year of rich media. When it comes to payment for these services, the question isn't whether RMVs deserve payment; the question is who should pay them. Today there is no standard model for paying RMVs, and this is something the industry needs to address.
Currently, you can have your search engine ads appear on image results for Ask Jeeves, Lycos, and other search engines. We predict that, in the future, paid search ads will become a standard image results feature; eventually, the paid results ads will probably be primarily graphical banners.
For a long period of time there have been discussions about whether standards are required for rich media (RM) ads or not. There are pros and cons to each argument, but I believe a different and new approach must be taken to better understand the issue.
My last column profiled today's rich media user and suggested that many brand marketers should immediately begin incorporating rich media into their overall marketing mix. This week I turn my attention to a pair of reports that provide insight into the past and future of rich media spending. Overall, the numbers tell a story of media planning gone wrong. My antidote: Stop media planning and start rich media planning.
Just when I'm feeling like the market can't bear another one, I'll get a call from a new rich media company. Invariably the caller wants to talk about the company's technology. What I'll want to discuss is the company's service model: How many client-service engineers are on staff? How thoroughly are ads tested? How do you service agencies and publishers?