Silicon Valley is littered with business plans based on ad revenue. In the era of free software, companies expected to make their money from advertisements. Yet pay-per-click advertising margins are notoriously thin, and often insufficient to support a business model.
Knowing which segments are most likely to do what you want—and how to reach them—is critical for any online business. Much of this information flows across Internet connections, social networks, search engines, and websites, and the keepers of these sites see analytics as the new AdWords: in the world of free, analytics is the cash register, and many companies seek to monetize their services by selling insights into online visitor behavior.
Let’s look at some of the industries hoping to cash in on analytics and web intelligence.
Mobile phone carriers had a great business. They provided services such as voicemail, text messaging, videoconferencing, newsfeeds, and more, for a fee. With the advent of the consumer Web on smartphones, however, they’ve lost the ability to unbundle individual services and charge for each of them. Apple finally capitulated and allowed Skype on the iPhone, which will have a material impact on long-distance revenues. Carriers have lost control of their original business models.
Instead of just becoming “dumb wires” for data applications, one way carriers can reclaim their revenues is to watch what mobile users do. Already, some firms (like Neuralitic) make analytical ...