Thursday, May 5, 2005
Amazon, eBay encouraged to take on advertising
An interesting (and very obvious but not frequently heard) observation by the Smart Money editor at large in this Wall Street Journal story (subscription required) below. He suggests that Amazon and eBay take advantage of their platform to deliver advertising.
While I believe Amazon should be considered a retailer first and an Internet company second, it does operate an impressive and sophisticated Web site that attracts millions of visitors. In theory, there's no reason Amazon (and eBay as well) can't tap the burgeoning market for Internet advertising that has been such a boon for Yahoo and Google. I leave it to them to figure how best to do this, but as an investor I'd be pleased to see some initiatives that begin to unlock some of the value inherent in their Web platforms. I haven't yet bought Amazon, but when I next consider adding to positions or shifting among sectors, it will be on my shopping list.
Of course, Amazon.com is already toying quite successfully with its new A9.com search engine. Although powered by Google and requiring a very conscious effort on my part not to automatically go to Google when I do a search, I've become a huge fan of the Amazon service. A9 has been especially useful as I've been searching for works by artist Sean Scully since it allows me to see all images and text results in one place unlike Google.