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Forecast: Web will halt global ad slide


With the real estate mess upon us, amid all sorts of other economic woes, the world's media economy would seem especially at risk. Yet so far it's looking like it will fare decently during the recession that's looming.

In part that's because this is an election and Olympics year in the U.S., which always gives a powerful boost to the global media economy.

But another big factor that should keep the global ad economy from sinking is the internet, which is expected to continue its robust growth over the coming several years as broadband penetration increases and users spend more and more time online.

“If it were not for the organic growth of online advertising, we would be contemplating a recession of advertising spending,” says Vincent Letang, a senior analyst at Screen Digest in London, who has just released a forecast for global ad spending.

Letang expects it to grow below average GDP growth from 2008 to 2012, hitting an annual growth rate of 3.6 percent in Europe and 3.7 percent in the U.S. In the first two years of the forecast, 2008 and 2009, growth will be slower than the remaining years – 2009 will be particularly slow.

Most of this growth, he says will be from online advertising, which he expects to grow about 17 percent a year until 2012.

While this pace falls below recent years--it's ranged between 20 and 50 percent a year, depending on the country--it's still strong enough to roughly double the internet’s share of the total ad spending in the U.S. and Europe.

Television’s share, including traditional broadcast and digital multi-channel, will nearly hold its own, while the lot of radio, print, out of home and cinema will lose out.

Letang’s figures for the U.S. show the internet growing from an 11 percent share of ad spending today to 21 percent in 2012, while TV will fall from 43 percent to 41 percent over the period. He forecasts the remaining media will fall from a share of 46 percent to 39 percent.

For Europe, the online share will rise from 10 percent today to 19 percent in 2012. TV will fall from 33 percent to 32 percent and other media from 57 percent to 49 percent.

Screen Digest’s forecast for internet’s share of the global advertising economy is in line with another recent forecast. The Kelsey Group released numbers predicting that global advertising will grow from $605 billion in 2007 to $707 billion in 2012, for an average annual growth of 2.7 percent.

But it figures internet advertising in its various forms will grow 23.4 percent a year on average, reaching $147 billion in 2012, giving it a 21 percent share of the global ad market by 2012. That's up from 7.4 percent at the end of 2007.

Meanwhile, in online ratings for the week ended Feb. 24, according to Nielsen Online, Google claimed the top spot among parent companies, followed by Microsoft, Yahoo, Time Warner and News Corp. Online. The top five brands were Google, Yahoo, MSN/Windows Live, Microsoft and AOL Media Network.

NexTag was the No. 1 advertiser with 8 million impressions, followed by No. 2 Experian Group Limited at 6.1 million. With 29.5 million ads served, Yahoo was again the top advertising site, well ahead of No. 2 MSN at 2.2 million.
Sessions per person per week were even to the previous week at 17, and domains visited per person were up one to 41. PC time per person was down 1 percent compared with the previous week, at 18 hours and 15 minutes.




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