Online Advertising Overtakes TV Sales for First Time Ever

By Clark, Nick | The Independent (London, England), September 3, 2009 | Go to article overview
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Online Advertising Overtakes TV Sales for First Time Ever


Clark, Nick, The Independent (London, England)


Paid-for search, led by Google, is proving 'recession-friendly'

The advertising market experienced a "significant" shift this year as companies spent more money on the internet than on television for the first time. Spending on internet advertising grew 4.6 per cent in the first half of 2009 to hit 1.7bn, according to digital marketing trade body Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB). Advertising on television amounted to 1.6bn, down from 1.9bn year on year.

"The internet has now overtaken television advertising to become the UK's single biggest advertising medium," the IAB said, adding it now accounts for 23.5 per cent of the total market. Industry experts pointed to more time spent online, faster broadband speeds and more sophisticated online techniques as reasons for the shift.

The IAB said: "The results signal a significant restructure of marketing budgets as advertisers follow their audiences online and look to the internet for even more measurable and accountable methods." The body's chief executive, Guy Phillipson, said: "Internet advertising has beaten all expectations to achieve growth in the most challenging market conditions."

Spending on internet advertising in the UK hit 3.3bn in 2008, up 17 per cent year on year, while total advertising spending fell 3.5 per cent to 17.5bn.

Stefan Bardega, director of digital at Mediacom, who specialises in media buying on the internet, said: "Online has surpassed television earlier than we expected," adding the move was driven by the recession. He said: "There is further to go, as it still doesn't match up with the amount of time some core demographics are spending online."

The favoured method of advertising online is through paid-for search, which is dominated by Google. Search is proving "recession- friendly," the IAB said, with spending increasing almost 7 per cent in the first half of 2009 over the same period last year, to 1.05bn.

It made up almost 60 per cent of online advertising expenditure. Google made about 97 per cent of its revenues from advertising last year, with about 70 per cent from paid-for search.

While classified advertising in print publications has been declining, it grew by a tenth this year online.

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Online Advertising Overtakes TV Sales for First Time Ever
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