What *Is* Advertising These Days?

And who pays for it? Two interesting examples from the NYT today:

  • What’s Offline: Ring Tones to the Rescue

    “Ring tones are the new singles,” said Todd Moscowitz, president of Asylum, a Warner Music Group subsidiary, in the current Rolling Stone.

    An increasing number of recording artists, including rappers and pop stars, are using ring tones to introduce new songs.

    […] “Earning a staggering $5 billion per year,” he writes, “ring tones are the music industry’s rare growth business, and a natural marketing tool for reaching young fans.”

  • What’s Online: Eyeballs Are Back, or Maybe Not

    Tivo and other makers of digital video recorders face a quandary: one selling point of the machines is that they allow users to skip commercials, but that makes programmers and advertisers unhappy

    Tivo proposed a partial solution this week: let viewers search for ads they want to see. In a partnership with the cable giant Comcast and several big ad buyers (Interpublic and Omnicom among them), Tivo says that by next spring, users will be able to set up profiles or enter keywords to watch ads they want to see.

    […] For someone seeking information on a product, “surely watching a TiVo-targeted ad is not the best option.”

    But maybe it is, according to Mr. Chanko’s colleague at Jupiter, David Card. He points out that Americans spend $3 billion to $4 billion every year on infomercials. The conversion rates, or percentage of viewers who actually buy, are “famously high,” Mr. Card writes. “What do you think the Food Network is, anyway? And the Travel Channel. Branded entertainment? Infomercialtainment? Whatever.”

Datapoint: Enabling Technologies

Your Money: Buying Used Just Could Turn Out to Be the Next New Thing

[T]he movement of used products, once sold through a daily newspaper’s classified ads, to the Web allows the buyer to obtain better prices because the choices are more extensive. Think how Alibris.com or Amazon.com have radically changed the buying and selling of used books. While there are some categories you never want to buy used – pillows or toothbrushes – there are enough these days that you won’t feel pathetic doing so.