Ad Spending Remains Traditionally Focused

Online media outlets that have existed for a long period of time, such as verticals, search, ad networks and portals, received the bulk of digital ad dollars spent in 2009, MarketingCharts reports. Verticals and individual sites received the highest share of digital ad spending, slightly more than 30 per cent. These were followed by search sites and directories (25 per cent), ad networks (20 per cent), and portals (about 12 per cent).

No form of "new media" even obtained 5 per cent of digital ad spending in 2009. The most popular form of new media, social media display, received about 4 per cent of digital ad spending. Data brokers, ad exchanges and mobile all received about 2 per cent, with other new media such as non-display social media and digital out-of-home (DOOH) barely registering. Interestingly, email, arguably the oldest form of traditional digital media, had one of the smallest shares of ad spending.

New Media Attracts New Investors

Perhaps not surprisingly, a large portion of the advertisers spending money in many new forms of digital media were investing for the first time, while most spenders in traditional forms of digital media were building upon established investments.

Virtually all DOOH investors in 2009 were new, as were about 80 per cent of ad exchange and data broker investors, as well as more than 60 per cemt of social media non-display investors. However, only about 45 per cent of social media display investors in 2009 were new, with new investors in mobile and in-game advertising totaling about 20 per cent for each media type.

Ad networks had the highest percentage of new investors among any traditional form of digital media in 2009 (20 per cent). Email, which attracted very low digital media investment in 2009, had no new investors. This statistical combination suggests email advertising may have poor growth rates in the years to come.

Spend Increases in Variety of Digital Media

During 2009, ad spending increased significantly in the traditional digital media form of ad exchanges and networks, as well as in the new digital media forms of data brokers, mobile and social. Several of the digital media forms with the highest share of overall spending, including search and directories, verticals/individual sites, and portals, had relatively low rates of increased spending and high rates of decreased spending. Email showed no decreased spending but very little increased spending.

Social Media Spending Hard to Measure Razorfish predicts that more dollars will go into social media advertising, but it will be hard to measure as most of those dollars will not go toward ad impressions or clicks. Brands will have to come to terms with two types of social investment. First, they will have to invest in people more than media. Second, even the best social strategies need support, so media dollars will need to be spent on other types of media to build stronger communities and programs.

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