User review sites: next big media/advertising disruption?

User review sites: next big media/advertising disruption?


A lot of people rely on user review sites for product or service selection, like Consumer Reports, Yelp, Amazon, or Best Buy.

Sure, we're aware of advertising for specific products or services, and that might get attention, but I bet most people just filter out most ads. Maybe they leave a brand impression.

What hapens when looking up reviews becomes easy, say on a phone, and becomes the normal way of doing things? We could see a dramatic tipping point in this direction, in the near term.

I'm guessing brand advertising will remain important, but that might represent a small portion of the
current advertising market.

What'll this do to business models for journalism and entertainment?

For me, happy to pay for trustworthy sources of news, with fact-checking and a clear separation between reporting and finance.

Disclaimer: I'm on the board of Consumer Reports.

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One Comment


Listening to NPR the other day, Wired's Chris Anderson told Terri Gross about a really interesting conversation he had a friend from Google on how the traditional model of advertising was to separate the ads from the content, and how Google was doing exactly the opposite.
On the page with Sony Reviews, up will pop an ad about Sony products…
Anderson had a somewhat ambivalent stance towards it, though he had a really intersting point. (For better or worse) we trust software and computer algorithms to eliminate all subjectivity between the ads and content, the whole point we have the separation to begin with–eliminate the possibility of influencing, adulteration, or wrongdoing.

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