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Parsing Static With Semantics

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Print media faces a perfect storm of business challenges: economic slowdown, dwindling readership, increased costs to create content and users accustomed to getting their content free on the Web.
 
In just the past six months, venerable papers like The Christian Science Monitor, Rocky Mountain News and Seattle Post-Intelligencer all shut down their print editions and moved solely to online. Others will certainly follow.

In addition to insufficient online revenue, the publishing industry is also coping with a generation that is already well accustomed to free content. With the Wall Street Journal's subscription model faring well for its business, it's the exception that proves the rule. You can count on one hand the number of mainstream online content sites that have successfully executed a subscription model.
 
Through this transition, the challenge of online advertising not generating as much as print advertising remains a primary concern for publishers. Fortunately, there are opportunities for online monetization that are just now being explored. Developments in semantic technology, for example, are creating possibilities for publishers to be able to better match ads to their content, which deliver better results to advertisers. Better results for advertisers translate to opportunities for publishers to charge advertisers more, helping to reclaim lost print advertising revenue.

• Contextual vs. Semantic: Current contextual systems that are used to sift through publishers' content are not sophisticated enough to categorize articles optimally. For instance, a highly trafficked article on a news site about current consumer spending would most likely be sorted into a low CPM category of "general news," making it difficult for the publisher to turn this high interest article into high ad dollars.

In contrast, a semantic system can assign this article into categories like "retail" and "e-commerce," which have higher CPM rates. By repurposing content into high-value advertising channels, semantic technology enables publishers to actually decrease the amount of ad inventory currently sent to low-value remnant ad networks. Instead, publishers can effectively increase revenue by allocating inventory back to where there is higher advertiser demand, and thus achieve greater CPMs through direct pricing.

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