Who is going to make money out of the Internet in 1997?
ny company with a system for the delivery of goods already in place
should be able to make money from selling direct through the Internet,
providing the service is good and they let people know about it.
However, 1997 will be as much about saving money as making it. Online
transactions provide a significant opportunity for cost savings. Many
telephone services are currently handled by operators who key into a
database to get information for the customer on everything from the
number of loyalty points collected to airline ticket availability
Allowing the online consumers direct access to this basic information
means that more time can be used to handle the calls which require
From an agency perspective, I think we will finally begin to see the
rise of new-media planning and buying activity as the Web arena
continues to expand here in the UK.
managing director, Bates Interactive mcrossma@ bates-dorland.co.uk
While their long-term business must be under threat from the giant
telcos, Internet Service Providers (ISPs)will continue to show profits,
especially those brands that will drive consumer awareness and interest,
and provide real added value (virgin.net and AOL).
Innovative creative agencies will reap dividends from the Net, while
unoriginal wagon-riders will hopefully fall off, now that hype is being
replaced by logical business-building. Retailers will start to benefit
from online trading, adding new targeted product lines to books, CDs and
The security issue will finally be put in perspective, allowing
high-quality mail-order retailers to exploit this perfect one-to-one
marketing tool. The best software solutions for these transactions
should be hugely profitable. And, of course, Electronic Telegraph (and
other leading sites) will earn increased revenues through advertising,
sponsorship and online trading.
marketing director, Telegraph Group, and the publisher of the Electronic
draytonh @telegraph. co.uk
Advertising agencies? Potentially, but I suspect not as new-media
operatives, rather in partnership with those who have the technical and
database credentials to make the most of the agency’s creative flow and
Retailers? Doubtful. Despite some advances by Tesco (see above) and
Sainsbury’s (plans announced), there remains an inclination to limit the
products on offer and this in turn discourages even the keenest Net
shoppers. However, don’t be surprised if Virgin’s usual initiative and
innovation shows others up.
UK publishers? Some will make money, but a profit? No.
managing director, MediaTel
BT will continue to rake it in from calls generated by Web traffic and
from ISPs buying new bandwidth. Modem makers who change their line
speeds as regularly as Premier League teams release new strips will also
On the subject of football, the FA could make a killing from selling
England shirts on the Web prior to the 1998 World Cup - a major
opportunity for the clubs, sports manufacturers and bookies to
demonstrate the Web’s transactional potential.
Other niche information transaction-based sites should be able to turn
in a profit. I sincerely hope that NMMS, the new-media advertising sales
house, will find significant new sources of ad revenue for Websites as
agencies and clients dedicate more budget to a growing and properly
audited Web audience.
managing director, Cityscreen on Reuters, and a founder of NMMS
There are only two certain money makers in the UK - successful ISPs and
Web developers. Companies that should be able to make money include
those providing goods and services quicker and cheaper on the Net than
on other distribution channels. An obvious candidate to date has been
’top-shelf’ material because of the easy access and anonymity that the
Of more legitimate interest is information - quick access to relevant
information that’s worth paying for. Electronic Share Information is
likely to be in operating profit if its subscription levels are
And I’d expect to see FT.com experiment with subscription services
following the lead of the Wall Street Journal.
head of interactive marketing, Leo Burnett Brandspace