Online ad spending about to accelerate

$19 billion seems like a lot of money until you put it next to $30 billion.

Jupiter Research released their latest online ad projections this week, and the numbers ought to make anybody sit up and take notice. They’re saying online ad spending will increase to $18.9 billion by 2010. They’re also predicting a move away from banners and toward streaming, something I tend to agree with.

A few months ago, Forrester Research projected the 2010 number would be even better: $26 billion.

But when it comes to online advertising numbers, I like the methodologies and analysis of Borrell Research of Virginia. Borrell has been working on projections for online ad spending through its newly created 400-member panel of ad executives, and their current thinking is that online advertising will surpass $30 billion in 2010. Borrell stresses that these preliminary estimates are “in the ballpark” and that it will not publish its official estimates until early September.

Among many other techniques, Borrell is using a methodology call a Delphi Panel, which is similar to a large focus group. It’s used to generate ideas and facilitate consensus among individuals who have special knowledge of the subject being studied, but who are not always in contact with each other. Gordon Borrell told me, “This is some pretty exciting stuff that will help us be very, very accurate in our projections, by asking the very people who are doing the buying and selling of online advertising.”

Much of this new growth will be in local advertising. And if you can stand another prediction from me, I suspect people will begin figuring out the unbundled media revenue models within the next couple of years, so these numbers could be even higher. If and when online advertising crosses the $30 billion barrier, it will be competitive with all other forms of contemporary advertising.

Of course, everything will be up for grabs when all media converge in your set-top box…

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