ABS-CBN Signs an Advertising Deal with Multiply

Yesterday I learned Philippine television giant ABS-CBN has signed an advertising deal with social networking site Multiply. The official press release writes:

The partnership allows Multiply to monetize a significant portion of its traffic while still retaining a primary focus on product development and global customer acquisition.

Unlike MySpace or Facebook but like Friendster, Multiply has become very popular in this country (39% of its site traffic and 5th largest site locally according to Alexa), which explains why this TV station has taken interest in it. TechCrunch reports:

Under terms of the agreement, ABS-CBN interactive will sell advertising and mobile services for Multiply’s Filipino users, with the two companies sharing revenues.

One the one hand, this is great news for the Philippine state of new media. Someone from the mainstream recognizes its growth and wishes to take advantage of it. On the other hand, this is merely an ad deal, which means there doesn’t seem to be any significant drive by either company to create something ingenious on the Web, which this country is in dire need of.

That said, I think Filipinos tend to use the wrong technology for the wrong things. Because Multiply provides an all-in-one, practically unlimited storage for all sorts of digital media from pictures to videos, Pinoys have found pretty clever uses for the site. The best example would be selling wares there (that last link is secondary proof—you shouldn’t make a directory out of a blog!). Shouldn’t Etsy or Shopify be more appropriate and convenient?

Of course this just brings us back to the first attraction ABS-CBN saw in the first place: Filipinos are on Multiply; why bother with anywhere else?

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