Search engines, especially Google, have found it very lucrative to get advertisers to pay up every time an Internet user clicks on an ad, but now search engines are forming a new business model: getting customers to pick up the phone and call the marketers. The effort, which has been under development for several months, is aimed at driving customers offline to small and medium-sized advertisers.
The mobile phone entertainment business is growing rapidly, with more consumers paying for services such as screensavers, musical ringtones, news headlines, sports games in progress, and even streaming video from Discovery and other entertainment giants. U.S. mobile phone entertainment revenues are likely to hit $500 million this year, up from $200 million last year, according to a Zelos Group analyst.
Nike has teamed up with Gawker Media to run a weblog advertising campaign, which will feature comments on 15 short films about speed commissioned by Nike. Nike said it chose to work with Gawker because its readers are "important and influential."
Cable operators are pushing to make new networks available exclusively on a VOD basis, a strategy that is frustrating entrepreneurs trying to reach the widest possible audience. Comcast, for instance, has three networks on its VOD service, and is planning to add more.