Rivals for Attention: How Competition for Scarce Time Drove the Web Revolution, What it Means for the Mobile Revolution, and the Future of Advertising
22 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2014
Date Written: February 1, 2014
Most online businesses try to get the attention of people and then sell advertisers access to that attention. The scarcity of attention — there’s only 24 hours in a day and much of that is spoken for — results in intense competition for people’s time and incentives to develop creative ways to people’s attention. Competition for attention helps explain how the web-based ecosystem has evolved over the last two decades and why ostensibly different companies see themselves in mortal combat. This paper describes this “attention market” and what it means for the past, present, and future of online competition.
Keywords: online advertising, attention, attention markets, web economy, multi-sided platforms, advertising, online competition, internet platforms
JEL Classification: L10, L12, L14, L21, L22, L25, L26, L41, N8
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