Online spending skyrocketing, but TV stations unlikely to see it

There are tons of reports and stories out there about the dramatic growth in online ad spending, but this one deserves special mention. A MediaDailyNews report on a survey of ad buyers by Deutsche Bank and MediaPost shows overall online spending will jump 30 percent in 2005. That’s three-zero percent, folks. Here’s the fun part for local television:

Respondents also disclosed that 14 percent of online ad dollars were allocated to Web sites of local TV, newspaper, and media…”
Let’s see. Total online ad spending in 2004 is expected to come in around $10 billion. So $1.4 billion went to local TV, newspaper, and media.

Television station general manager, did you get your share?

Frankly, I doubt it, since most local stations are tied up with companies that host and maintain their Websites, in addition to taking most or all of the ad revenue. This is the great shame of local broadcasting, and one that I predict will be “corrected” in the near future as more and more stations wake up to the fact that their online revenue is going elsewhere.

But there’s more.

When it comes to the future, half of all respondents said they expected behavioral targeting to be the single largest area of focus for themselves and their clients in the next six to 12 months. An additional 21 percent said online video ads would be the primary focal point, while 16 percent expect to focus on local search or pay-per-call.
Once again, local television is not properly positioned to take advantage of where the market is headed. TV stations are well equipped to take advantage of online video ad growth, but most don’t. And behavioral (contextual) advertising? Again, a business that ought to be at the forefront of all of this is way behind even their newspaper counterparts.

How sad!

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