Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Things You Already Knew, Wednesday Edition: Online Ads Are Coming Back

If you pay any attention at all to online advertising, you knew this already. But sometimes it’s nice to see it in print, so you don’t think you’re hallucinating: Money is coming back to the Web again.

Online ads bumped up 2.6 percent in the last quarter of 2009, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. That’s much less than anecdotal reports from some publishers would lead you to believe. On the other hand, Q4 was up 14 percent compared with Q3, so that gives you an idea of where things are going.

And this graph is particularly instructive. Note the sickening drops in the last two years, and the hopeful up-slope (click to enlarge):

Bear in mind that the IAB’s numbers are for all Web advertising. Which is to say, they’re in large part a reflection of Google’s (GOOG) performance, since search accounts for nearly half of the IAB total.

You can read the full report below, or check out a press release summary here.


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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