Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Online Advertising Up 25% in Q3 - but is it 80% Google?

PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Interactive Advertising Bureau released their 3rd quarter numbers estimating total ad buys online today. Big growth continues, but take it with a giant grain of salt. Last quarter the number exceeded $5.2 billion according to the study, up 25% over Q3 last year.

According to the IAB, the glory days are here. "Marketers large and small have come to accept digital media as the fulcrum of any marketing strategy," says Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the IAB. That seems like a real exaggeration to me. In fact, Google reported Q3 revenues of $4.3 billion just by itself, that up 57% from Q3 2006. The vast majority of that is in advertising sales, so industry growth is based on Google growth, apparently. Either someone's numbers are off or we're all insane trying to make a living in this industry. All of us but Google, that is.

As time on the television continues to drop and time online rises, I think we've only seeing the beginning of the online advertising economy. It's hard to get too excited about the health of the industry, however, when one company's own growth makes up so much of the story.

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