Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Waiting for Online Ads to Roar Back? Be Patient.

Add one more voice to the chorus of conventional wisdom: The Web ad market has stopped getting worse, but it’s going to be a while before it starts getting healthy.

This assertion comes from the analysts at Bernstein Research, who I think have been pretty levelheaded about this stuff over the past year or so. From the “stuff you probably already knew” file:

  • The ad business is still declining–in the U.S., Web ads will be down three percent for 2009–but should start moving up again next year, when Bernstein thinks they’ll climb 7.6 percent. Remember that those numbers will be off a depressed base.
  • Search is improving more quickly than display.
  • Google’s (GOOG) grip on search isn’t weakening a bit–if Microsoft’s (MSFT) Bing push is having any effect, it’s at Yahoo’s (YHOO) expense.
  • The mobile Web is going to be big, but not that big. Mobile ads may account for seven percent of U.S. Web spending in 2012.

Okay. Back to work.

bernstein ad improvement


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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