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eMarketer: Web's Cut of Ad Dollars to Pass 15% by 2013

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The longstanding complaint in online advertising circles is that the Web has yet to receive its fair of ad spending, considering the amount of time most Americans spend online these days.

Conventional wisdom has been that online advertising still pulls in less than 10 percent of all media dollars, while more and more users spend as much as 20 and 30 percent of their media time surfing the Internet.

Yet according to a new report issued by eMarketer, online industry executives may soon have less to complain about. The researcher predicts that the Web’s share of ad dollars will approach 10 percent this year and will exceed 15 percent by 2013. Those projections are based on recent trending, as the Internet’s share of total spending has been gradually increasing by a rate of one percent each year, found eMarketer.

Ironically, that rate of growth should accelerate because of the ongoing recession, which is causing many brands to reevaluate all of their ad and marketing budgets, according to the report. That optimistic assessment comes just after eMarketer revised its 2009 online ad spending forecast, dropping an earlier prediction of 8.9 percent growth to 4.5 percent.

Despite that slowdown, the Web is benefiting from an overall share shift, claims eMarketer. “Marketers are spending more on Internet ads, while spending less on advertising in other media, such as newspapers, radio and magazines,” reads the report. That shift is being driven primarily by most brands’ intensifying need to track and justify every ad dollar in the current climate—which the Web’s inherent trackability offers.  

“Digital marketing offers compelling benefits, especially for cash-conscious companies,” said David Hallerman, eMarketer senior analyst . “Marketers can more readily measure the results of Internet advertising than with most traditional media.

This produces more efficient advertising and higher ROI, which in turn pushes traditional media to compete with lower pricing.”