It's been a while on-line services spread all over the Internet. Mails, instant messaging, file storage... you name it! For now, it's quite hard to monetize these services. Web surfers are not used to paying for anything on-line. Therefore developers had often to use advertising.
But advertising isn't very efficient. Therefore the market had to adapt. The answer might be applications stores. Applications stores smooth on-line payment so that it will be easier to pay for the services you consume.
E-commerce is the one solution to drive revenues on-line
Why paying while there are all those awesome services on-line for free? Plus, if web surfer had to pay for each query they did on-line it would be a pain!
Plus when it comes to on-line advertising, the only think people has is mind is click, click and click. As if on-line advertising was only efficient for on-line conversions. Is the 'real world' was completely disconnected from the digital world? It's true that ads today barely draw any attention because we're doing it wrong! Display banners are so alike that web surfer will just ignore them. The solution may come with in-stream video ads and between-the-page ad units... which are very similar to what is done on TV. However, it might be too late: on-line advertising prices are very low and it will take time to increase them.
That's why now, most on-line advertisers are e-commerce platforms.
Advertising isn't efficient enough
As mentioned above on-line advertising often aims for on-line conversions. In the end, the Internet only claims a small amount the overall advertising spending cake compared to the attention it gets.
|As shown by this chart, the Internet doesn't drive the revenues it deserves (Source)|
This proves how doomed we are if we rely on advertising the way it is today. Therefore publishers had to find a new way to gain revenues from the content or services they provide.
Internet Service Providers won't pay publishers
|The Minitel was the previous Internet|
French media missed the good old time and the Minitel.The Minitel was just like the Internet but you had to pay for each minute you were using it. All services/content didn't have the same price. Monetization was direct and easy (but expensive though). Then when the Internet and its free services came, the Minitel was doomed.
Nonetheless, the way the Minitel drove revenues was a gold mine for publishers. Why not make the ISP pay publishers for on-line the content and services provided?
Actually this solution is not good because of Web Neutrality. It is very important to separate the interests of the ISP and the content/services. If not, ISPs might decrease 'the pipes' towards some publishers because of money they would get or pay.
Application stores could be the answer
|Apps stores the key for online monetization?|
Linux was probably the first platform to offer an application store. Then it became mainstream when Apple marketed it as a revolution. I doubt you understand how powerful these applications stores will be. Linux, iOS, Android, the iTunes for Mac OS... Windows 8 will also have its own applications store... and even browsers! Chrome already has Chrome Web Store and Firefox is testing his own. The other browsers will soon follow.
In the end, you'll have an application store for each device you own (laptop, tablet, mobile...). Content and services are already moving to these platforms because it helps publishers increase their traffic. Plus, as you payment information is already stored by the store, it will be easier to make the end users pay something for the service they get.