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A $50 Billion Opportunity at Yale Publishing Course

Senior Business Partner Josh Cohen is here from Google, and he's talking about a fifty billion dollar opportunity. 
We're been following the money at Yale Publishing Course and it's led us here, to online display advertising and $50 billion of space just waiting to be bought and sold.  And that's just a beginning.  As all media becomes digital--and we can see that happening--Google expects this to grow into a $200 billion business.  The $50 billion is what's on the table right now.  How do we get to that number?  It's the gap between media use and ad dollars.  Content and use has shifted online faster than ad dollars.  Today one third of media time is spent online but scarcely more than 10% of media dollars are spent there.  If--when--those ad dollars follow the consumers online, that's the impact we can expect.
Today is Day Four of Yale Publishing Course, and we've dealt with creative and organizational issues, with the product and the money, with digital and print, with problems and solutions.  We've gone from cave paintings to the USDA food pyramid and played Mozart on our wine glasses.  At breakfast this morning I looked through a gorgeous app from a Vietnamese fashion magazine and discussed job opportunities with a student from Iran.  The great thing about publishing-and about Yale Publishing Course--is that it's all about both creativity and commerce.  We learn how to make money and have fun along the way.
The migration of advertising dollars online presents plenty of opportunity for both.  Roberta Garfinkle of TargetCast and Jordan Bitterman of Digitas were here to talk about ad agencies and how publishers can work with them to key into this shift.  Advertisers are looking for The Next Big Idea.  A publishers that can provide great, innovative ideas and implement them will get their attention--but it isn't always the Big Idea that delivers the value.  As we break new ground we also must pay attention to what we have already learned and know and continue to do it well.
On the way we have some pretty big challenges.  A full 28% of media dollars spent online disappear in transaction costs, never making it to the publisher.  Relative to other channels that is a huge number, and publishers need to solve that in order to realize their profit potential, Cohen cautioned.  And of course there is the challenge presented by the proliferation of formats.  But with $50--or $200--billion out there, awaiting the exercise of publisher creativity and imagination, is there anywhere else we'd rather be right now?

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