Now That's A Fairly Chunky Loss

Mediaweek is reporting that Microsoft is in the process of shutting down its in-game advertising arm Massive Inc., having failed to find an interested buyer. If the speculative figures are accurate, it’s some loss for even Microsoft to have to swallow. 

Here’s a 2005 interview with Mitch Davis, then Massive Inc. CEO with some very optimistic projections and also the rather amusing implication that in-game advertising, by increasing realism, increases the satisfaction of the gaming experience. 

In 2006 Davis was still projecting well over twice the revenues by 2010 that the Yankee group were forecasting. The latest tentative figures suggests the market may reach $1bn by 2014.

There are plenty of established and emerging digital media business models beyond solely supported by advertising revenue. Perhaps consumers are also less receptive to advertising delivered to them over or via a service they have already paid for.

The Age of the Stream

“As the age of the stream takes hold, it will force marketers to get more creative about how we break through. It’s unclear if ads will be welcome. If they are, they will need to be brief, useful and funny. Otherwise, they will just get in the way and be ignored.”

I’d contend that a lot of them are already being ignored. It’s over ten years since we first came across ‘banner blindness’ and the predominant response has been to make ads bigger and yet more intrusive.

A bit more creativity needs to go into this. The ease of publishing to the web now means that there are ever more places where ads can be placed, but most people don’t want them.