Marketers in China are fast moving advertising spend from offline to internet, one of the country’s largest online operators, Sohu (NSDQ: SOHU), said, as it reported record quarterly revenue to its Nasdaq investors.
The Charles Zhang-led company, which operates the Sogou search site and Changyou online gaming business, saw Q4 online advertising revenues grow 51 percent from a year earlier to $101 million, including a 248 percent rise for Sogou to $23 million.
Co-president Belinda Wang: “In 2011, the internet population in China exceeded 500 million and we witnessed a continuing trend where marketing spending by brand advertisers has been shifting from offline to online.”
The trend is lifting more than just Sohu. According to iResearch, 2011 Chinese internet advertising revenue rose 57.3 percent to surpass newspaper print advertising on 51.19 billion yuan ($8.11 billion), according to iResearch, which predicts 100 billion in online ad sales in 2013.
Sohu’s operating profit fell 26 percent to $49 million on higher video investment.