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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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