Is A Picture Worth A Thousand CPMs?

Is A Picture Worth A Thousand CPMs?
SHARE
THIS



In this opinion piece, Jon Stubley, VP ANZ sales for GumGum tracks the revenue rise of Google and predicts how advertising and technology will combine to create big dollar markets in the future.

Google was in the news a week or so ago for what proved to be a fairly unpopular test of new search term colours. It should come as no surprise that the company is constantly tinkering with minor details like this.

After all, a few years ago it tested 41 shades of blue to see which one users preferred; and the slightly more purplish shade was reported to have earned the company an extra $200 million.

When a simple colour tweak can generate this type of additional revenue, it is easy to forget that at the turn of the century, when everyone was partying like it was 1999, Google only provided search functionality as a consumer product. Its first significant step towards monetising the search platform only came in October, 2000, with the introduction of Google AdWords.

Like most killer ideas, it was based on a simple premise. People were already entering words and phrases to the search engine, so why not try and sell keywords?  As a result, search engine marketing (SEM) was born and today the market is estimated to be worth around 25 billion dollars.

Fifteen years later, Google’s colour test – and the negative responses to it – is a timely reminder that the web is no longer about just text. It has now gone visual (and mobile). More than two billion images are shared online each day, and the growth of visual-first mobile apps such as Instagram and Snapchat – not to mention Pinterest and the increasingly visual Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp – is exponential; with most of it occurring via smartphones and tablets.

As a result, many companies out there both established and emerging (my company included) envisage that the next frontier of search is working out how to monetise all these images. To get there, companies are using the kind of technology that can handle such vast amounts of pictures: a form of artificial intelligence known as computer vision, and, more specifically, image recognition, which enables computers to correctly identify what’s inside images (everything from objects and logos to scenes and faces).

What’s more, these programs learn as they go, getting smarter and more accurate the more images that they process, thanks to a method called machine learning, which is also used to train computers to do everything from translate better to drive cars.

Google is naturally a key player in this space with image recognition already being used in Google Photos, where it automatically organises them pictures by person, place, subject, activity, and other categories that previously were only classifiable by human-submitted tags. But beyond consumer applications, this kind of technology is also being monetised, in some ways similarly to the way that search words have been monetised.

Take Pinterest. When pinners zero in their cursor on a specific object in a picture – say, a pendant lamp – image recognition is used to surface other pictures containing pendant lamps. The technology is also being used to aggregate more granular information about consumer interests with a view to using these in order to deliver targeted one-to-one advertising.

For example, in photos of a specific celebrity, ads for, say, brunette hair-specific products can now appear in pictures of brunette celebrities.

Image recognition technology can also be used in less overt ways to help brands. As image recognition algorithms become smarter, they have the capability to deliver more actionable and nuanced insights. How users share images of products on social media, for example – whether or not there is any identifying text – can inform marketing strategies down the line.

Billions of images are shared on social media each and every day in the same way that billions of search terms and keywords are shared in search engines. So to me, it isn’t a question of if images will be monetised; after all we are already at the beginning of the curve with smart brands experimenting with nascent technologies and solutions.

Instead, like any emerging advertising practice, it is only the details that are yet to be wholly defined. Over the coming years, the market – and critically, the consumer – will dictate what the most popular formats will be and who will be taking the lion’s share of the revenue.

But in five years’ time, I’ll bet the farm that in-image advertising will be as ubiquitous on the average media plan as keywords are today.

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Study: 52% Of Gen Xers & Baby Boomers Have A ‘Nemesis’ Brand
  • Marketing

Study: 52% Of Gen Xers & Baby Boomers Have A ‘Nemesis’ Brand

Older consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand for a long period of time, but they are also more likely to boycott a brand for the poor customer service they received, new research has revealed. Cloud mobile and online business messaging solutions provider LivePerson has released the results of its consumer research […]

Craig McLachlan Says He Will Sue Fairfax & The ABC Over Harassment Claims
  • Media

Craig McLachlan Says He Will Sue Fairfax & The ABC Over Harassment Claims

Embattled actor Craig McLachlan, currently the centre of some unsavoury sexual assault allegations, has said he will sue both Fairfax Media and the ABC. The two media bodies combined in a joint investigation to expose allegations that McLachlan sexually harassed three women – actresses Christie Whelan Browne, Angela Scundi and Erika Heynatz – during a 2014 production of The Rocky […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Former Adland Duo’s New Start-Up Attempts To Redefine The Future Of Freelancing
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Former Adland Duo’s New Start-Up Attempts To Redefine The Future Of Freelancing

The former MD of digital agency MullenLowe Profero, Dave Bentley, has partnered with ex-Razorfish’s Senior Tech Manager, Nick Stevens, to launch a new company designed to revolutionise freelancing in the creative and digital industries by streamlining the way organisations and freelancers find each other and work together. Cavalry Freelancing is an online marketplace that intelligently matches projects with industry freelancers in minutes based on expertise, skills, availability, rates and reputation.

Channel Nine’s Today Busted Nicking A BBC Promo “Word For Word”
  • Media

Channel Nine’s Today Busted Nicking A BBC Promo “Word For Word”

It’s been a rather ignominious debut for Nine’s Today show for 2018 amid accusations a promotion for its hosting line-up, featuring the newly-installed Georgie Gardner, is a direct rip-off of an ad that aired for a UK breakfast show back in 2016. B&T has contacted Nine for comment on the allegations, however, it declined our offer to do […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Case Study: How Content Helped Tribal Marketing Come To Life Amongst Rev-Heads.
  • Opinion

Case Study: How Content Helped Tribal Marketing Come To Life Amongst Rev-Heads.

In this guest post, CEO of content marketing agency Edge, Fergus Stoddart (pictured below), says brands would do well to play on their customer’s loyal tribalism… Normally over Christmas, any downtime is spent asleep on the sofa, mildly lubricated with a belly full. This year, with the Ashes in the background, I managed to stay awake […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Red Bull Holden Racing Team Unveils 2018 Cars On Sydney Harbour
  • Marketing

Red Bull Holden Racing Team Unveils 2018 Cars On Sydney Harbour

Red Bull Holden Racing team took the covers off its 2018 Holden Commodore Supercar today. Floating on a barge in Farm Cove, the harbour provided a stunning backdrop for the reveal. Teammates Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen have won the past two championships for the squad. Whincup, now the greatest of all time with seven Supercar’s titles, […]

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency

As part of its summer fire campaign, the Victorian government has launched a virtual reality (VR) bushfire experience and content series via The Fuel Agency. The VR experience places the user in the midst of a large bushfire, and is designed to encourage people to leave early on high-risk days before it’s too late. The […]

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Technology

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass

ad tech company VeNA has signed an exclusive reseller partnership covering Australia and New Zealand with digital rugby network RugbyPass. Across Asia and parts of Europe, RugbyPass is the exclusive digital rights holder and over-the-top broadcaster for live rugby, including the Super Rugby, the Rugby Championship and autumn internationals, the Six Nations, the Aviva Premiership, […]

SpotX Appoints Gavin Buxton As Asia MD
  • Advertising

SpotX Appoints Gavin Buxton As Asia MD

Video advertising platform SpotX has announced it has appointed Gavin Buxton as managing director of Asia to lead the company’s expansion in the region. Buxton has over 17 years’ global experience in the digital advertising space, having worked in leadership roles at tech and publishing companies, including Microsoft, Turner Broadcasting, and LinkedIn, with the last […]

Big Mobile Doubles Down On Ad Tech & Rebrands
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Big Mobile Doubles Down On Ad Tech & Rebrands

B&T Awards 2017 finalist Big Mobile has unveiled a fresh look to reflect its new ad tech credentials. The company successfully pivoted its business from ad network to mobile ad tech vendor when it announced a joint venture (JV) with Widespace in October last year. As a result of the business changes, Big Mobile wanted […]

March One Appoints New Senior Account Manager
  • Advertising

March One Appoints New Senior Account Manager

Independent ad agency March One has appointed a fresh face to the team, with Melanie Tozer to reinforce its mission to put humans first as a senior account manager. Tozer (pictured above), an up-and-coming talent from New Zealand, will align her extensive experience in FMCG marketing with March One, having worked on accounts for Bunnings […]