Your DNA Could Save Newspapers


minority-reportIt’s no secret that plummeting ad sales is the biggest challenge facing the newspaper industry today. Online advertising, for a variety of reasons, does not generate the same revenue that print advertising has traditionally done. To make up for the lack publishers have been considering any manner of income generators. However according to an piece on today, the solution may be as simple as getting readers to cough up a whole lot of personal information.

In a report released Monday, advertising broker and technology firm Pontiflex says that marketers will pay publishers an average price of $2.27 for each reader they can convince to fill out a form with their real name and e-mail address, along with a few bits of personal data such as their Twitter handle, phone number or answers to questions about their shopping habits.

That hefty price suggests publishers should consider abandoning cheap ads sold for guaranteed prices and should instead try to use space on their Web pages to convince readers to turn over their personal information.

Sound frightening? Maybe the next step is asking everyone to send in a strand of hair for DNA testing when they subscribe! Truly, at the rate we’re going it’s just a matter of time before our lives as consumers turn into that scene from Minority Report where the subway ads change depending who is walking by them (video below). The truth of the matter, of course, is that people volunteer an enormous personal information about themselves online every day without ever being asked — I know more about the personal lives of some people I follow on Twitter but haven’t met, than I do about some of my close friends. It’s the asking that usually turns them off. So really it may just be a matter of connecting Twitter Search with IP addresses, or something like that. In the meantime…

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