I have seen many industries flourish and die as a result of government regulation which changes at times like the wind blows. One of the latest casualties may just be companies who focus on behavioral tracking such as NebuAd. As Gary Kim spells out in this well-written article, “your wallet is not safe when Congress is in session.”
Still, I must say I am quite worried the government may try to do what is in the public’s best interest and at the same time hurt the public. You see, I believe the ability to target ads to match the needs of web surfers, TV viewers, etc is crucial in helping to monetize content while at the same time minimizing the viewing of ads which do not interest users.
In addition, the efficiencies gained by showing more targeted ads will likely be partially passed on to consumers.
This matter is especially important today as we are seeing the migration of video content from cable and satellite to broadband or TVoIP. As this happens, new companies are emerging, looking to monetize the viewing of such content.
Let’s just hope there is a favorable environment for companies looking to maximize advertising revenue while providing free service. And of course I am all for protecting privacy while ensuring service providers and others can maximize revenue.