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Old 02-03-2010, 01:45 PM   #61
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The included WIFI on the new devices makes them an advertisers wet dream.
The devices can give feedback to the advertisers on the reach and effectiveness of the ads themselves. The ads would probably have click-through capabilities at some point. The advertisers would be able to know how long certain ads are really in view of a live person in addition to how many times the ads were actually visible. I am certain that the learned model from Internet Advertising and payment would easily apply to the usage in eBooks.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:47 PM   #62
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I would not pay for an ebook with ads inside.

And if I somehow did, I'd do what I always do what an ad annoys me: make it a point NOT to ever buy that product.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:04 PM   #63
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I was speaking more to concept in the ePub specification than in actual usage. I would expect the designers of the eReaders to format the ads which are included specifically for their reader.
What about ebook readers that aren't associated with a bookstore? They aren't interested in ad support for the books. Hardware designers that aren't tied to a content provider have no reason to modify their software to show ads well. The two most likely results are:

1) Those ebook readers become more desirable because they drop the ads, or show limited versions of them, OR
2) They become non-functional with ad-laden ebooks, which cause frozen screens or other errors.

Neither of these options is good for the future of ebooks, because #1 means publishers (or whoever's making money off the ads) doesn't want their books read on those devices, and #2 means customers can't use ebooks they bought on some devices.

And no ad system is going to work equally well on an Astak reader, an iRex, a 21" desktop monitor, a 10" netbook, an iPod, a Blackberry, and an iPad. All these can read ePub files (I think BB's can read epub?), but not all are going to deal with ads the same way--unless those ads are basic text blocks.

Advertisers want to reach *all* readers of the book, not only those who read on desktops; they're not going to pay (as much) to put their ads in books that will be read in ways that strip out half the content of the ad.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:31 PM   #64
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Not all ads would work in all places. That is plain out obvious. But say the eBook simply had an xml tag at various places which indicate where an ad could go. The xml tag could have attributes as to advertisement classification and content genre. Since it is simply an xml tag, the eReader determines how or if to display material related to it. Each display medium would have advertising which best fits for that use. When indicated by the markup, the device takes advertising from its library which fits the tag and which is already designed for it and incorporates it in the display. Dual display devices could leverage the additional display to offload the advertisement away from the reading area. Some devices could disregard the xml all together depending on how the material was purchased and if ads were available. As far as the end user is concerned, one viewing of a book on one device would look different when viewed on a pc, etc. As far as the end user is concerned, he never sees the xml markup only the devices use of it.

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Old 02-03-2010, 02:42 PM   #65
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But say the eBook simply had an xml tag at various places which indicate where an ad could go.
That would also make it simple for the end user to get rid of the XML tags, sounds good to me.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:10 PM   #66
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As far as the end user is concerned, one viewing of a book on one device would look different when viewed on a pc, etc. As far as the end user is concerned, he never sees the xml markup only the devices use of it.
Why would a marketing department pay to have ads placed in ebooks, if they might never be seen? Surely they'd, at most, pay less for them than ads they could be certain would reach all readers.

The issue isn't, "how could ads be included in ebooks?" That's a minor, technical question with a dozen potential simple answers, and a hundred possible complicated ones.

The issue is, "how could ads be included, in a way that was profitable to the advertisers (so they'll subsidize distribution of the book) and non-annoying enough to readers that they won't boycott the books or the advertised product?"
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:24 PM   #67
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A marketing department would pay the Agent for the views of his Ads as reported back from the devices. And I agree that the technical side is the easier part of the problem.

Unfortunately, the technical specification is the start of the process. If the wrong technical specs get out for advertising without the proper thinking done before hand, you could have the same problem happen to eBooks as has happened to HTML.

Right now, programming for the web is painful simply because the HTML standard grew too quickly and was adopted into practice poorly by the various Browser manufacturers. A little standardization at the first would have seen the web light years ahead of where it is now. Unfortunately now, a good web designer has to try to program to every type of device which views his pages.

The ePub standard is still in its infancy so NOW is the time to do the thinking. I see advertising coming whether we like it or not. Since it is coming, shouldn't the mechanics of how it could emerge be thought out so that the standard allows for its inclusion?

If we will have to deal with it, shouldn't we get our two cents worth in as to the proper way to do it?
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:25 PM   #68
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The issue is, "how could ads be included, in a way that was profitable to the advertisers (so they'll subsidize distribution of the book) and non-annoying enough to readers that they won't boycott the books or the advertised product?"
I strongly suspect you'd find that, for the benefit of a free or very inexpensive e-book, the number of people who will simply roll with the ads--just as they roll with TV commercials and previews at the beginning of a movie--will far outnumber those who go through the trouble of applying scripts and stripping out ads (despite the opinions of many folk on this site).

It's part of the equation of ad placement: There are always a percentage of people who ignore them, or leave the room when they are on; but the majority of people just stay and watch, ignore the ads they are not interested in, and pay attention to the ads they are interested in, depending on the quality of the ad. It's not rocket science... it's ad science. And judging by how long this particular science has been successfully practiced, I think it's safe to say that they'd figure out how to make it work.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:50 PM   #69
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I find the threshold for advertising to be very interesting. My threshold on the web is moderate - but when sound/video/'flash' distract me from the main content, the website or the ads vanish; I either stop going to that site or I turn on adblocker for that site.

For TV, I'm now so used to watching shows without commercials via DVD sets, some streaming, pvr, etc, that I can't be bothered to watch them 'live' on TV, even when the opportunity arises. 1/3 of the show is just commercials. Sorry - I'm paying to watch the show, not to have you profit from me on top of that. Blatant product placements - those have actually driven me away from some shows as they become so distracting that any suspension of disbelief is impossible. I've got friends who'll sit there channel flipping (usually missing the start of the next part of the show), or mute, but most just sit there.

Movies in the theater, well, it's hard to escape the commercials at the beginning unless you risk arriving late. I'm one of the rare folks who don't think movies in the theater are necessarily a social event and I'm happy to go on my own, usually with my ebookwise in hand, and tune out the commercials on screen. I can still remember watching Return of the Jedi when a "Hero" cologne ad came on - to much ridicule and booing from the audience. At that early age is when I started to loathe most advertisements when I am forced to pay big $ (IMHO) for something. I've been to movies where my party talks through them, and others where the person I'm with pays attention to every second.

Radio, though, is different for me. Bar the really loud ads, I don't channel flip etc. I'm one of the few people I know who doesn't change the station the second an ad comes on. So in this instance, my threshold is higher than others.

The science behind all this is fascinating, and obviously the advertisers are making good money.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:00 PM   #70
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The science behind all this is fascinating, and obviously the advertisers are making good money.
Exactly. Like it or not (and many people purport to not like it, but sit through it anyway), the ad system works, and there's absolutely no reason to expect it could not be properly adjusted and effectively ported into e-books.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:03 PM   #71
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Though I think advertising has gotten out of control - so many voices yelling louder and louder, so many fingers waving in the air to grab our attention, etc.

This has caused more of a backlash against advertisers and is driving people to greater and greater effort to remove/avoid/ignore ads.

And it increases the cost of everything we buy.

Reduce advertising costs and insurance costs (a whole other issue!) and we'd be looking at much lower costs for everything.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:09 PM   #72
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A marketing department would pay the Agent for the views of his Ads as reported back from the devices. And I agree that the technical side is the easier part of the problem.
My devices don't speak to the web; they'd have no idea whether I saw ads. That, of course, is aside from the doc conversion issues. They might try embedding ads in PDFs, which will hold all sorts of dynamic content--I wind up removing the lock just to crop out the margins, and as long as I'm doing that, I delete any annoying pages.

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The ePub standard is still in its infancy so NOW is the time to do the thinking. I see advertising coming whether we like it or not. Since it is coming, shouldn't the mechanics of how it could emerge be thought out so that the standard allows for its inclusion?
EPub is HTML with a special viewing filter. It's got all the problems (and potentially, all the advantages) of any website.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:18 PM   #73
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EPub is HTML with a special viewing filter. It's got all the problems (and potentially, all the advantages) of any website.
But it isn't necessarily laden down with the pieces of the HTML standard which is specific to different browsers.

I will probably also be one of those ones who strips out the ads but if it is done properly, I would find myself less likely to take the time and effort. I proposed this discussion to bring question how it should be done properly. I don't want to have to deal with another Internet Explorer type fiasco and I really want the ePub standard to survive.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:26 PM   #74
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I find the threshold for advertising to be very interesting. My threshold on the web is moderate - but when sound/video/'flash' distract me from the main content, the website or the ads vanish; I either stop going to that site or I turn on adblocker for that site.
My adblocker is defaulted to on for all sites.

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For TV, I'm now so used to watching shows without commercials via DVD sets, some streaming, pvr, etc, that I can't be bothered to watch them 'live' on TV, even when the opportunity arises.
I love Tivo's 30-second skip button. The only time I end up watching the commercials is when I forget to hit the button.

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Movies in the theater, well, it's hard to escape the commercials at the beginning unless you risk arriving late.
What's a movie theater?

Most of the time I'm watching a movie in the home theater, and skip over the previews on the DVD.

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Radio, though, is different for me. Bar the really loud ads, I don't channel flip etc. I'm one of the few people I know who doesn't change the station the second an ad comes on. So in this instance, my threshold is higher than others.
The majority of the time I'm listening to radio is when I'm driving, so I don't skip channels either. But mostly because I'm trying to pay more attention to driving than messing around with the radio. I pretty much put it on a station and just leave it there (unless I've listening to my MP3 player in the car).
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:27 PM   #75
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Exactly. Like it or not (and many people purport to not like it, but sit through it anyway), the ad system works, and there's absolutely no reason to expect it could not be properly adjusted and effectively ported into e-books.
In that case, since the current ad system works so well, I would propose we use an equivalent ad system for eBooks that we have in place for pBooks.
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