Thursday, 16 July 2009

Advertising spend trends in the recession.


For a while it looked like there was no stopping the Internet advertising juggernaut.
In 2008, it accounted for £3,350 million in advertising expenditure -19.3% of all advertising revenue in the UK. Its growth rate was an impressive 19.1% since 2007,when all other media showed a decline of 8.5%.
The reality that has eluded most commentators is that the Internet is in the main a classified advertising vehicle. 77% of its revenue in 2008 came from this form of advertising. Paid for search is its main generator of income. It is the equivalent of yellow pages and Google dominate the market in paid for search.
In a recession all types of advertising suffer.
In 2008, online display advertising - banners, skyscrapers and MPU’s accounted for 5.6% of total display advertising. New estimates from Nielsen Media research suggest that the Internet’s share of display advertising dropped to 3.5% during the first half of 2009.
If this is so, then it’s bad news for mainstream media owners who have led the surge of investment in on-line display advertising infrastructures. Even shrewd newspaper barons bought into Internet ventures like My Space without working out a financial model for recouping their investment. ITV paid a very large sum for Friends Reunited and only now have publicly announced their decision to wash their hands of it.
Quality newspapers have discovered that their on-line readers are younger and more mass market than their newspaper counterparts and as such less valuable.
Newspaper on-line inventory is ending up with blind networks for a fraction of their rate card price.
Advertising Agencies who invested in digital expertise and systems have discovered the days of high margins are over. In truth there is an over supply of online display opportunities. Advertisers once very keen, are now repenting their early enthusiasm.
Another digital collapse is imminent.
This is not to say that Search has had its day. Advertisers with transactional web sites will still exploit the Internet, but they will look for better bargains.
The absurdly high cost of demanded key words, like cheap car insurance, is over.