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@ EconAds: Anmuth: Search Is Strong, But Display Is Where The Action Is

The global ad market is $600- to $800 billion — the internet takes about 8 percent. So given that relatively small slice the big news is not about share shifts, said Douglas Anmuth, SVP & Senior Research Analyst, Lehman Brothers, kicking off paidContent parent ContentNext’s EconAds Seminar. His topline points: Most of the technology and tools are in the infancy. Video will be additive and not cannibalistic. I think advertisers will be driven to spend more in a ROI environment.

The only other forms gaining media are cable, direct mail and outdoor. 20 percent of media time is spent online, yet the gap between that and the 8 percent share internet ads have will be slow to close. The growth of rich media will help.

Search: This area will continue to dominate. How much share can Google (NSDQ: GOOG) have? There is a limit. Secondly, international is the main driver there, though growth is not expected to slow in the U.S. As for macroeconomic pressures, search isn’t immune, but it is more resilient, especially in areas like travel. CPC to CPX — we don’t really know what that means either, but it is a combination of “success-based” measurements.

Display: This is where the real action is going forward. The reason is that display is a wide open market, not limited to one player like Google in the search market. The next wave of dollars will come from brands: think of GM moving a large portion of their ad dollars to display.

Investor perspective: All investors need to own Google, and that has increased, as Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) has become less valuable. That adds more potential value to smaller, niche players who can position themselves as an alternative to the bigger company. And given the lack of names, international markets are more valuable as well — especially in Asia.

Microsoft-Yahoo: Somewhat restricted due to Lehman’s relationship with Yahoo, but as noted, it makes sense. “(The deal) doesn’t solve the search problem… what I would say is… and this goes for anybody competing with Google: no combination out there is going to solve any problem… over time, long-term, I don’t see material share shifts going on. There’s a lot more opportunity (on the display side)… no clear winner.

Premium vs. remnant: “(The gap) is something that continues to close… those pressures, they are certainly hitting the large portals in terms of the pricing at the top. “