MediaPost has two stories today that start to answer a larger question about how the Internet will fare in a weakening economy. For some time people have been speculating that if the economy hits a meaningful downturn or heads into recession, what will happen to the Internet ad spend? The question is now being answered — so far, so good. This article discusses the financial category and that Google’s share of that ad spend is holding amid the mortgage and credit crisis.
A second piece talks about data from Nielsen, confirmed and similarly reported by others (such as TNS), reporting that ad spending is down across the board in traditional media:
The big research company says that for the first half of 2007, ad spending slipped 0.5% versus the same time period for 2006. Not surprisingly, the Internet led the way–again–as the most improved category, up 23.6% versus a year ago.
On the losing end were some long-suffering print categories: Local newspapers were down 8%; national newspapers fell 5.9%; business-to-business magazines were off 5.7%; local magazines tumbled 5.2%; and local Sunday supplements gave away 4.7%.
Many of the TV platforms were also in the red, with spot TV taking the worst hit–down 4.6%. Network TV didn’t have much to cheer about either; it was off 3.8%. Cable TV was the least hit, slipping just 0.3%. One bright spot for TV was the spot TV business in small markets–DMAs 101 to 210–up 3.2%.
During the last recession in the U.S., when the “bubble burst,” the Internet was not as well established as a consumer medium. Given how attached consumers in the U.S. and elsewhere are now to the Internet — and how it is gaining share and time spent vs other media — the ad-spending data above are no surprise.
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