Blog Spending Leads Alt Media

NEW YORK Blog, podcast and RSS feed advertising are the fastest-growing segments in alternative media, according to a study released today by research firm PQ Media.

Combined spending on the three surpassed $20 million last year, the study found. Spending rose by almost 200 percent in 2005, and was expected to grow by another 144 percent in 2006, the report claimed. While these numbers show a fast climb upward, spending on blogs, podcasts and RSS remains well under 1 percent of the market as a whole.

“While they are the fastest growing, they are also the smallest,” said Patrick Quinn, president of the Stamford, Conn.-based firm. “But that shouldn’t take away from the broader trends of money being shifted into new media.”

Blog spending got the fattest share of advertisers’ dollars, according to the study, with more than $16 million being spent. But podcast advertising, which did not exist until 2004 and earned more than $3 million last year, is forecast to take the lion’s share of the market in years to come with a projected 2010 revenue of more than $300 million, the report said. “We’re talking about triple digits going forward,” Quinn said.

The findings are the first installment in a series of reports that will attempt to produce reliable data on various forms of alternative media, which can range from satellite radio to event marketing to product placement, according to Quinn.

The numbers are yet more evidence of the growing promise that user-generated media holds for marketers, Quinn said yesterday, as the perception that traditional forms of advertising are not as effective takes hold.

“They’re willing to take some risks and spend some money on new medias that are not as tested or measured,” he said of marketers. “It’s obvious to them that they need to employ new strategies.”

The appeals of user-generated media to advertisers are the demographic it reaches (coveted 18 to 34 year olds) and that ROI is easier to determine, Quinn said.

“Engagement and measurement are probably two of the buzzwords in media this year,” he said.

The report is the result of an “ambitious” effort that lasted six months and involved the participation of executives and opinion leaders and the examination of public and private documents, Quinn said