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Quick Overview of Web Page Commercials

As web business engineers, we like to analyze offline processes to understand what aspects of these processes we can adopt online. By understanding how television commercials are integrated with television programs, we can tease apart the important variables for web page commercials. So, let's look at how commercials are integrated with television programs.

In a typical 30-minute TV program slot, you have at least three different commercial slots: one after the opening titles, another in the middle of the program, and one right before the ending credits. Each commercial slot is approximately 2 minutes long and there can be multiple commercials in a slot. Thus, in a 30-minute program slot, 6 minutes, or 20% of the time, is devoted to commercials.

Like a television program, your web business provides entertainment to your users over time in the form of a sequence of web pages (see Figure 2):

Figure 2 Viewing web pages for entertainment over time.

So, given a number of advertisements we could show on our web business's pages, if we want to follow the same commercial model as a television program we at least need to determine which advertisements get shown and when they get shown (see Figure 3).

Figure 3 Web page commercials.

However, unlike a television show, web entertainment isn't on a regular schedule, and the amount of time a user spends on our site varies. We can't (easily) rely on time as the basis for determining when to show a commercial. Fortunately, not being able to rely on time is not such a big problem. In place of time, we can instead use number of page views as the basis for when to show an advertisement.

The following sections look at how to implement several simple kinds of web page commercials, using page views as the key factor in determining when to show a commercial. With a solid foundation in developing this basic type of web page commercial, you can easily develop more sophisticated, interactive, multimedia web page commercials.

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