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Online Ad Spend Estimated To Grow 13.8 Percent In ’08; ’09 Looks Flat: Jack Myers

Veteran media analyst Jack Myers has come in with his ad forecast for this year and next and the good news is, it could be worse. Myers projects online ad spend growth of 13.8 percent this year with $24.133 billion. But in 2009, Myers expects online’s growth rate to come in essentially flat at 13.5 percent, with $27.6 billion spent. Online’s share of the total media ad spend pie will be 10.4 percent, and will rise to 12.4 percent in ’09. That’s not a leap by any stretch, but since Myers anticipates total ad expenditures to fall 1.3 percent in ’08 and then drop another 4 percent next year, it’s hard for the industry to feel too badly. Come 2010, online will look a bit better with gains of 16 percent, as it assumes a 14 percent share of the whole ad market, Myers says.

Dead center: This marks the first time that total marketing dollars will be down two years in a row. Apart from the dire news coming from the credit and equity markets of the past few weeks, Myers sees little hope for the media industry even if the wider economy does experience a sudden turnaround. The industry finds itself in the “dead center” of a two-decade transformation that he charts from the moment Google (NSDQ: GOOG) emerged in 1998. It will be 2012 before prosperity returns.

Worse for newspapers: At the heart of the “dead center” is the newspaper industry, which Myers projects will represent 16.6 percent of total advertising this year — down from 21.4 percent in 2006, though it had just 0.2 percent growth. The industry’s ’08 ad revenues will be down 16 percent to $30 billion. Next year hardly looks better, with a projected drop of 15 percent and then 8 percent in ’09 and ’10 respectively.