The World Wide Web is going to be the main vehicle for advertising in the future, according to Mr Yusuf Mehdi, Senior Vice-President, MSN Information Services, Microsoft Corporation.
In an interview here on Friday, Mr Yusuf elaborated on MSN's plan to cash in on the online ads boom.
"Right now the total advertising in the world is worth a little over half-a-trillion US dollars, taking into account all the media including the yellow pages.
"The online advertising takes a neat share of $18 billion annually and is projected to touch $40 billion in two-three years. The growth projected is over 40 per cent annually and is significant compared with the slump in print and electronic media's share," Mr Yusuf said.
"The online advertising in MSN presently rakes up over $2 billion and MSN is going to be an equal partner in the projected 40 per cent growth rate. Online advertising is the future and MSN is going to be a major player.
The boom that is taking place right now is unlike the dot.com bubble that we saw in 2000," he added.
Mr Yusuf said advertisers are now looking for measurability, which is vague in other media.
Online advertising can provide accurate data instantly, in terms of hits, page views and sale conversions. Online advertising was also the cheapest.
Microsoft's initiative: Microsoft would shortly launch the Ad-Centre concept worldwide.
"It has been launched in France and Singapore a couple of months ago on an experimental basis and based on itssuccess it will be launched globally in the next six months," he said.
Elaborating further, he said, "This is a holistic online advertisement platform based on the next generation software.
"It will be customised to suit the online marketing requirements under a security blanket. It will contain banner ads, video ads, search text ads and interactive ads. For small businesses, it is going to be like a friendly Web site and for larger houses it is going to be a sales platform with support staff."
"We are seriously thinking of incorporating the idea of advertisement-funded software. But right now our focus is on our new product, Windows Live.
"This product will be the ultimate in the Internet concept. It will revolutionise the concept of e-mailing and Web world, acting as the bridge between the PC at home and the Internet," he said.
India stands to gain as MSN was exploring the idea of opening up a full-fledged R&D wing here, he added.