Mary Meeker on Online Advertising

Yesterday I visited the Ad-Tech show here in San Francisco to catch the last 20 minutes of Mary Meeker’s keynote and visit the exhibition hall. Let me first say that Mary’s presentation was fascinating but left me winded. We blew past 50 slides dense with stats and tidbits that raised an eyebrow when I first ran across them in my readings over the past several months but now, when gathered up and presented together, are nothing short of inspirational.

My key takeaway was that with broadband penetration now hitting 25 – 30% in North America, we’re going to start to see even greater adoption of the internet as the alternative delivery format for rich media. As more families experience life with an always on connection (I have an iMac in my living room and the little white window has become a hub of activity throughout the day), they begin to view the internet as a viable alternative to existing delivery methods.

Weblogs replace the letter from friends. Topix replaces your local paper. Weather.com replaces your local TV forecast. RSS feeds replace your local sports wrap-up. The list goes on. Mary’s point was that we’re only just beginning a new adoption phase as it is only when penetration of a new medium hits 25% that the volumes start to make sense for others to follow. Once all these families start hanging out on their always on broadband connections, you’ll see the advertisers follow which will enable more interesting projects which will draw more people online which will draw more advertisers, you get the idea.

More tomorrow on the exhibit hall.

Leave a comment