The Revolution Will Not Be Monetized? Really?

Strapped with a couple of eye-popping graphs, Bob Garfield outlines the skyrocketing advertising revenue of the internet over the last decade. In some what of a bitter tone, Garfield goes in to how much money is being made by all of our favorite websites such as Facebook and Google/Youtube. Can you guess how much those sites are making off of us googling “how do you spell (insert word here)?” In 2010 Google made nearly $30 billion while Facebook made $2 billion, the same amount made by Google when they turned six years old.

He mentions that for the first time, advertisers are spending more money online than on print ads, which isn’t surprising. He also mentions that the click rate for banner ads is under 1%, which also isn’t very surprising. The steady climb of money spent displayed by two graphs reflects a trend that we all knew existed, but did you know the top of the stairs would read above $25 billion dollars? That is serious money. However, Garfield makes more serious claims than that.

Garfield believes that virtual currency used in application games such as FarmVille will lead to real money transactions. He also sees Facebook moving in to transactions, due to the smartphone revolution. Perhaps the craziest claim comes at the end when he says he believes will be the “dominant online force with a significant social-media component over the next 20 years.”

But still, Garfield isn’t impressed. The title, “The Revolution Will Not Be Monetized” implies that these companies aren’t going to make money. The subtitle refers to “advertising revenue that will never arrive.” I don’t know about you, Garfield, but to me when a company makes $30 billion dollars, the revenue arrived. I’m not sure how monetized he expects this social media revolution to get, but I think they are doing pretty well for themselves.

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