Summary:

Last spring, from eMarketer’s vantage point, the clouds were starting to lift with online ad spending, and the researcher projected that web…

Last spring, from eMarketer’s vantage point, the clouds were starting to lift with online ad spending, and the researcher projected that web ad spend would grow this year by 4.5 percent. But the spate of reports showing that the first six months of ’09 were worse than previously thought has led eMarketer to take another look.

The researcher is now saying that online ad spending will drop 2.9 percent (to $22.8 billion) in the U.S. this year. Historically, the latter half of the year tends to be stronger than the first half, even in down times. With that in mind, eMarketer predicts a smaller h209 drop of 2.9 percent. The researcher is confident that growth will return to online ad revenues over the next two years. Spending on web ads is projected to rise 5.9 percent and 6.6 percent in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Although many have expressed doubts about online advertising returning to the kind of robust growth of two years ago, eMarketer says that there will be double-digit gains in 2012, as the presidential election and economic stabilization inspires marketers to loosen the purse strings. Following that blip, slightly lower rates of increase will resume in 2013.

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By David Kaplan

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