Harvard Business School’s ‘Working Knowledge’ web site has an excellent article exploring how to quantify the economic impact of the Internet. You can read the article here.
One interesting snippet included in the article is a TNS study reporting on the leading activities of Internet users:
As noted in the article, the majority of activities are funded by advertising one way or another. We don’t pay to use a search engine or read the news (yet – certain news moguls would like to change that…)
I was surprised to see price comparison sites featuring so high up. But what is interesting is that the only two activities not dependent on advertising or affiliate marketing to fund their Internet business models are online banking and paying bills online. Note that number 5 is visiting a brand or product web site, not necessarily buying anything whilst you’re there. How news thinks it can achieve what only banks and utility services have achieved on a mainstream scale is anyone’s guess. Whilst ‘Lookup news’ will likely remain near the top, what form of news could change entirely.
On a related note, Gerry McGovern has an excellent article talking about the differences between Google and Yahoo. Specifically, how Yahoo switched its focus to advertisers whilst Google remains focused on the end-user despite both having the same revenue goals. Proof is in the pudding, as Google continues to rise and Yahoo continues to fall. If they want to make money on the Internet, maybe those news moguls should take a leaf out of Google’s book instead of wanting to torch it.
- Quantifying the Economic Impact of the Internet – Harvard Business School, August 2009
- The real difference between Google and Yahoo – Gerry McGovern, August 2009
- Rupert Murdoch plans charge for all websites by next summer – Guardian, August 2009
- Murdoch wants a Google rebellion – Forbest, April 2009