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Free Content The Online Advertising Industry: Economics, Evolution, and Privacy

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Abstract:

Online advertising accounts for almost 9 percent of all advertising in the United States. This share is expected to increase as more media is consumed over the Internet and as more advertisers shift spending to online technologies. The expansion of Internet-based advertising is transforming the advertising business by providing more efficient methods of matching advertisers and consumers and transforming the media business by providing a source of revenue for online media firms that competes with traditional media firms. The precipitous decline of the newspaper industry is one manifestation of the symbiotic relationship between online content and advertising. Online-advertising is provided by a series of interlocking multisided platforms that facilitate the matching of advertisers and consumers. These intermediaries increasingly make use of detailed individual data, predictive methods, and matching algorithms to create more efficient matches between consumers and advertisers. Some of their methods raise public policy issues that require balancing benefits from providing consumers more valuable advertising against the possible loss of valuable privacy.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/089533009789176807

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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  • The Journal of Economic Perspectives (JEP) attempts to fill a gap between the general interest press and most other academic economics journals. The journal aims to publish articles that will serve several goals: to synthesize and integrate lessons learned from active lines of economic research; to provide economic analysis of public policy issues; to encourage cross-fertilization of ideas among the fields of thinking; to offer readers an accessible source for state-of-the-art economic thinking; to suggest directions for future research; to provide insights and readings for classroom use; and to address issues relating to the economics profession.
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