Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Yes, We Know: Online Ads Are Down

half-fullNoting this just because it feels like the right thing to do: Online ads declined 5% in the first quarter of the year, says an industry trade group.

Of course, anyone who’s remotely interested in online ads knows that the first 3 months of the year were miserable — when Google (GOOG) has a quarter-to-quarter decline, then you know things are bad. Also, it’s not like we didn’t see it coming. But for the record, here’s the chart, courtesy of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (click to enlarge):


I’m hearing mixed chatter about Q2, which is winding down now: Some folks are fans of the “green shoots” theory, also known as “things have stopped getting worse” theory; others think that this quarter will be the worst part of the slide, which means things will start getting better later this year. Still others tell me that the online ad orders are being placed so close to the time they actually run that there’s no way to predict anything more than a few days or weeks out. And others think any talk of a rebound is wishful thinking. Nothing wrong with wishing, though.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work