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Stamford firm predicts fast alternative media growth


If you are reading this article online, PQ Media's recent research report might be accurate.

The Stamford-based company said spending on alternative media, such as video game and online advertising, rose 22 percent to $73.43 billion nationwide last year, and the firm expects alternative media expenditures to grow 20.2 percent to $88.24 billion this year.

The PQ Media Alternative Media Forecast: 2008-12 predicts compound annual growth of 17 percent from 2007 to 2012, reaching $160.82 billion.

The study says alternative media will comprise 26.6 percent of all U.S. advertising and marketing spending in 2012.

"By 2012, we anticipate one out of every four dollars spent on advertising and marketing will be earmarked for alternative media," said Patrick Quinn, president and chief executive officer of PQ Media. "Alternative advertising and marketing media are driving a new media order that presents vast opportunities for industry stakeholders, but also key challenges for some of the fastest-growing digital media segments."

Advances in technology such as digital billboards, local pay TV, video-on-demand, digital video recorder advertising and satellite radio advertising led to a movement from media such as newspapers, magazines, broadcast television and radio, according to PQ Media.

"This creates a generation of elusive consumers for brand marketers to pursue," Quinn said.

They seem to be eluding traditional media. Alternative media, including 18 digital and non-traditional media segments, accounted for 16.1 percent of total advertising and marketing spending in 2007, up from 7.9 percent in 2002, PQ Media said.

While all 18 segments of PQ Media's Alternative Media Matrix - including 12 alternative advertising segments and six alternative marketing segments - posted double-digit growth in 2007, several of those segments grew faster than 20 percent for the year.

Those same segments are projected to drive growth over the next five years, PQ Media said.

In order of projected growth, they are:

* Consumer-generated media, including Internet forums and blogs;

* Mobile advertising, such as ads on a cellular phone;

* Video game advertising or ads in a video game Web site;

* Online video advertising;

* Word-of-mouth marketing such as text messages, on-line consumer reviews and message boards);

* "Advergaming," or using video games to advertise a product);

* "Webisodes" (a TV show episode that airs originally as an Internet download);

* Product placement (actors using a product);

* Search and lead generation advertising (ads on Internet search engines);

* And digital out-of home media (digital billboards in elevators, supermarket checkout lines and other locations).

One alternative media organization agrees with PQ Media's findings.

"There is significantly more online gaming ad revenue this year than last year," said Hal Halpin, founder and president of the Wilton-based Entertainment Consumers Association, a membership organization for on-line gamers. "Online gaming is the future of the entertainment business, which is a $17 billion industry in the United States."

But traditional media still has clout, Quinn said, citing February's Super Bowl, which drew 97.5 million viewers, the biggest TV audience in its 42-year history.

"The claim about the death of broadcast and print media is premature," he said.

Founded in 2002, PQ Media is a consulting and research firm that focuses on media spending. Its clients include News Corp.; Time Warner; The Associated Press; GE Commercial Finance; Cisco Systems; the Association of American Publishers and American Business Media.




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