Media companies report their quarterly results during the next few weeks, time that should help us determine the state of advertising. Has it stabilized? Is it growing? Or is spending still trending down?
Google, which kicked off earings yesterday, probably isn’t a great bellwether. After all, it was held up better than almost any other media company during the recession. Still, the largest U.S. Internet search engine hasn’t been completely immune. Revenue was up in the second quarter, but only by 3 percent.
Google executives told analysts and investors on a conference call that they believed their business had begun to stabilize, but were unwilling to predict when a broader economic recovery would prevail.
A number of analysts were unconvinced that Google has overcome the worst of it. (Just look at the stock, which was off 3 percent right after the report).
As Signal Hill analyst Todd Greenwald wrote in a report today: “Management noted that the business “stabilized” in the quarter and that the worst of the crisis was behind them. While we agree that the overall environment did improve, we remain concerned by the dramatic deceleration in Google’s core business, and believe that future quarters may slow down further.”