Ben Thompson writes about Facebook and advertising:
You can’t help but see the advertising, which makes it particularly attractive to advertisers. Brand advertising, especially, is all about visuals and video (launching soon!), but no one has been able to make brand advertising work as well on the web as it does on TV or print. There is simply too much to see on the screen at any given time.
I don’t like ads or advertising, and feel sort of gross writing about them. But I wanted to link to this because it seems to be a giant opportunity that too many newspapers are missing. I’ve always found it weird that it’s more expensive to read a newspaper on a phone or tablet app — and that’s just for the ones that offer such an app. Most newspapers simply have a web site, at best one altered to fit on mobile devices.
Those sites typically throw ads at you as you arrive on the site. But nothing sends me away faster. Newspapers should be more like Facebook in this regard: the ads should be integrated into the content itself. No, I don’t want to see a Starbucks ad, but I’ll deal with it if it allows a newspaper to operate in the black. If such an ad is offered in a mobile app, it remains on the screen the entire time I’m reading. I have to see it. I can’t simply scroll past it.
I imagine this isn’t happening for the same reasons that most newspapers are failing: short-term costs are more pressing than long-term benefits. Those with the ability to make that decision are more intimidated by the time and cost of developing such an app rather than the benefits of gaining more customers and developing a more fruitful advertising model.