What's this? The gelding Radio Advertising is running backwards as the horses head for the 2007 turn and the 2008 stretch? Is it any wonder that it's about to be caught by the sleek young filly, Internet Advertising?
Perhaps you'd best not think of this as a traditional horse race, however. It isn't. At least that's the opinion of eMarketer, a New York research firm that recently added $500 million to its online advertising estimate for 2006. The figure projected by the firm now stands at $16.4 billion, or about 5.8% of the $281 billion total for all media in 2006. But even the revised figure -- along with a higher $17.4 billion level forecast by Forrester Research
Nevertheless, expenditures for Internet advertising over the next couple of years are projected by eMarketer to move past the total amount spent for radio spots. Indeed, in 2007, the Internet is expected to account for 6.8% of the total, while in 2008 it currently is anticipated to rise to 8.1%, all while radio's relative share continues to shrink.
But lest you think this is all easy medium-by-medium math, allow me to make it murkier. Google
And in yet another cross-media example, while newspaper newsprint advertising revenues will generally be flat to down this year, online advertising for newspapers will grow -- depending upon the specific paper or group -- at rates well into the double digits. New York Times
And so the advertising picture brightens for online and clouds for the traditional media. My advice to Foolish investors today would be as it has been in the past: Look to companies that were born of the Internet as your primary investment targets for that medium.
Fool contributor David Lee Smith does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He welcomes your comments and questions.