I didn’t get a chance to look at these numbers on Internet advertising that PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Interactive Advertising Bureau released on Monday, thanks to being on a late shift and having plenty of news to shovel through thanks to Conde Nast. I glanced at them on Tuesday, however, and here’s what I seized on in the press release:
U.S. Internet advertising revenue in the first half of the year was $10.9 billion, down 5.3 percent from last year’s first half.
Search and display-related advertising continue to represent the largest percentages of overall interactive advertising spend. Search revenues amounted to more than $5.1 billion for the first six months of 2009, up slightly from that same period in 2008.
Display-related advertising—which includes display ads, rich media, digital video and sponsorship—totaled nearly $3.8 billion in the first six months of 2009, showing a relatively modest 1.1 percent decline from the same period in 2008. Digital video continues to experience robust growth with a 38 percent increase from the first half of 2008.
And this quote: “While the overall advertising market has continued to be impacted by current economic conditions, marketers are allocating more of their dollars to digital media for its accountability and because consumers are spending more of their leisure time online,” said David Silverman, PwC Assurance partner.
The video section is what caught my attention. I’m one of those people who is perpetually fascinated by the faith that people put in Internet video. Newspaper websites want to do more of it, and everyone else seems to be interested too. The idea, they say, is that video is an ever-more popular way to give people news, ads and what-have-you in a format that modern audiences want.
Maybe I’m antediluvian because I’m 36 years old, but it seems to me that pursuing video just so you can say you’re modern doesn’t seem like it’s going to meet the tastes of most of the Internet audience. Video can be distracting and time-consuming. Yet, more ad dollars are going to it. How popular is video online really? I mean, when it comes to news and ads. Am I completely wrong about this, or is video going to remain a small part of the ad revenue pie?