The Upside of Online: An Ad Forecast For 2007 Based On Semi-Informed Guesswork. (C’mon, Like All The Others Aren’t.)

Posted by: Jon Fine on December 5, 2006

I’ve mumbled, here and elsewhere, about how slow ad spending patterns have changed in America. All the more so when compared to places like the UK, where online spending’s share of the total ad pie is roughly twice what it is in America (scroll around halfway down here), which The New York Times’s Louise Story and Eric Pfanner did a good, lengthy piece on yesterday.

I’ve also mumbled (scroll down to the paragraph that starts “Life for Tribune . . ’ here) that some sectors, like newspapers, which had been battered by the stock market and the press on the expectations that ad revenues would start falling … well, the ad revenues have (finally) started falling. (As opposed to revenue growth slowing down.)

So, fine, let’s extrapolate from what’s been going on here, what’s already happened elsewhere, and from the ad spending projections that get tossed around willy-nilly this time of year. (With the caveat that the big ad spending forecasts have not proven to be paragons of precision, to put it as gently as possible.)

In ‘07, the long-promised shift away from traditional media and to online media could happen (finally!), especially if the biggest advertisers get comfortable with, and figure out how to produce creative for, the next big Web plays like MySpace and Second Life.

Broadcast TV spending could finally collapse next year because, well, because it won’t take such a huge shift in dollars away from TV for next year’s upfront to decline significantly. And there’s no Olympics and no election—the latter of which was very, very nice to broadcast TV this election cycle, partly because in the political advertising world, advertising on cable TV is considered a radical move.

Newspaper ad spending could collapse next year because—well, ask any big-city newspaper publisher about what finally started happening to ad revenues in the past few months.

Possible fly-in-the-ointment for The Upside of Online: If TV and newspaper (and, hell, throw magazines in there too) sites suddenly start picking up much more online ad share than they have thus far. As of right now, though, the upside for these sites appears limited because of inventory constraints, which many be why places like NBC, CNBC, and CBS are so furiously ramping up the video capabilities of their sites.

Still. Suggested slogan for 2007: The Year The Change Could Happen. (Well, actually, maybe that should be appended with the phrase “just like you’ve heard for the past ten years.” Oh. Wait. That makes the slogan totally unwieldy. Sorry!)

 

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