Why the iPad could be bad for publishers

IAB’s Randall Rothenberg argues that the iPad could be bad for publishers because the proliferation of device-based walled gardens risks fragmenting audiences and “a company’s opportunity to create, sell and use advertising effectively and profitably will depend on its ability to deliver it seamlessly across multiple devices.”

“Without continuing, concerted, cross-industry commitment to managing transactional complexity in the marketing-media supply chain, the iPad and its ilk might only make publishers’ problems worse,” he says.

He offers two suggestions if ad-supported media are to survive:

  1. Device manufacturers and the proprietors of other walled gardens should work collaboratively to adopt consistent standards to allow the advertising and marketing economies to flourish.
  2. To the degree that the walled gardens create impediments to scale, publishers need to find other sources of revenue. Media companies must redouble their efforts to add marketing services to their sets of offerings.