Until the present day, advertising has been driven by catching the eyes (or ears) of captive audiences. Large billboards, television commercials slotted between shows and ads placed between songs on the radio. Advertisers increasingly see the need to improve engagement with ads. Vast volumes of data enable the likes of Twitter and Youtube to deliver content users may want to see on the basis of past activity.
Ad monetization has existed as a popular business model primarily because monetizing small sums (on the order of pennies and cents) is too costly: transaction costs quickly add up, making it almost impossible to charge users on the basis of page views. An innovation I look forward to is the (potential) proliferation of bitcoin & lower transaction fees. This infrastructure will enable content providers to charge per view instead of having to slot unwanted ads on a page (or even force costly subscription models). Medium lends to an aesthetic I imagine of websites of the future: content driven engagement.
As health concerns become a greater priority, I foresee that mindfulness will rise in importance. Societies will recognize the danger of cognitive fatigue and prefrontal overuse. Perhaps a greater number of people will speak to the woes of internet addiction and continue to advocate creative thinking – and wandering, detached from mobile devices. People will become more conscious of what media they are consuming – and even further, may have a greater ability to log this digestion and derive insights from new discoveries.
We live in an era where the proliferation of computers has magnified the realm of human potential. We do have access to vast amounts of data – the next step is deriving actionable insights associated with the data. Along the way, society may learn to restructure the way media is distributed and consumed.