Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Ad Forecasts: Crummy Offline, OK Online, Sun to Rise in East, Set in West

empty-billboardMedia giant Zenith Optimedia says the ad market is in worse shape than it had previously suspected.

In the old days, this might have qualified as news. But for the past year or so, Zenith Optimedia, along with just about every other ad forecaster, has been revising its forecasts downward every couple of months as the reality of the financial meltdown sinks in. So it’s hard to get worked up about this stuff.

More stuff you pretty much knew already: Online advertising is doing better than traditional ads.

Citigroup (C) analyst Mark Mahaney summarizes his chat with the CEOs of PubMatic and the Rubicon Project, which help online publishers sell inventory through ad networks. Their takeaway is that while pricing for online display ads has dropped dramatically in the past couple quarters–by as much as 50 percent in some cases–overall spending should remain flat this year. And as we all know, that’s the new up.

If you’d like to see concrete numbers from the ad market, hang tight until Thursday, when we’ll get earnings reports from two companies at the opposite end of the media spectrum: Gannett (GCI) and Google (GOOG).


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald