August 7

An ad-supported internet isn’t going to be sustainable in emerging markets

Can you imagine an internet without advertisements?

It’s difficult. Since the web’s genesis, advertising has been the reigning business model. The vast majority of online content and services — from entertainment and journalism to search engines and email — are supported by banners, displays, and leaderboards. Today, two of the world’s largest companies—Google and Facebook—earn the bulk of their revenue through advertising.

Put simply: The phrase “ad-supported internet” can seem redundant.

But as the internet expands into emerging economies like Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda, this may no longer be the case. As billions more digital citizens connect this decade, a critical question arises: Does the internet’s current business model work in newly-connected regions?

Source: Quartz (link opens in a new window)

digital revolution, global development, Internet