2009: Not a ‘Banner’ Year for Online

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By: Jennifer Saba

As the economy continues to tank, many are busy recalculating their ad forecasts. Online spending, which has been the one thing newspapers have been able to bank on, is not escaping this brutal downturn. Borrell Associates has released its 2009 outlook, and reported that “the big slowdown” is already under way. Local advertisers pushed spending up 47% to $12.9 billion in 2008, but come next year the growth slows to plus 7.8% and $13.9 billion (see our Data Page).

Also sobering: Online advertising does not have that magic affect that it once did. Borrell analysts note that banners, pop-ups, and interactive display are less appealing to advertisers: “Local media companies projecting double-digit and even triple- digit increases in their Interactive budgets next year will have a very difficult time meeting those expectations ? especially if they rely on banner ads.”

Overall spending on those “standard formats” is expected to drop 8.5% in 2009 ? and don’t expect them to make a comeback once the economy rebounds, analysts say. They anticipate, however, that other ad forms will see some growth next year. Streaming audio/video should be up 65.2% in 2009 compared to 2008. Paid search is expected to be up 13.7% year-over-year.

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