U.S. Online Ad Market Outlook Linked to Economic Recovery

Despite the gloom that hung over last year’s advertising market, the online sector fared better than traditional media forms. Until now, most forecasters have remained generally cautious about the 2010 outlook, even for online spending.  And, in a report published late last week, eMarketer announced that its analysts expected to see online ad growth of 5.5% for 2010.

But, other analysts have come out with their projections as follows:

  • UBS/​Deutsche Bank +7%
  • Winterberry Group +8.3%
  • Barclays Capital +8.9%
  • MAGNA +9%
  • International Data Corporation +12.6%
  • Collins Stewart +13.3%
  • Citi Investment Research +14%

These kinds of growth projections would put total spending on the online ad market at somewhere between $24.1 billion and $29.7 billion in 2010. And, as many analysts have been pointing out over the past several months, the largest growth rates should occur in search, display related ads such as digital video and online classifieds.

David Hallerman, eMarketer senior analyst, warns that the numbers are based on assumptions that the economy will continue to recover and “that is not yet a sure thing.”  eMarketer analysts also note that measuring total online ad spending is growing more difficult and many projections may not include a key component — social media. In general, more firms are spending money on social media or brand micro-​sites. Failing to account for expenditures in this area would mean under-​counting the total online effort. But the bottom line for 2010 online media spending for now is cautious optimism

[Source:  Optimism  for US Online Ad Spend. eMarketer​.com. 7 Apr. 2010. Web. 12 Apr. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.