Thursday, November 20, 2008
Whither The Banner?
By Dave Morgan
I'm very fond of the online ad banner, having worked with it for its entire 13-year life. It's been great to watch it grow -- and to play a part in its growth -- as billions and billions of dollars a year were spent on it. By 1998, the banner ad had become our industry's mainstay, and until search finally emerged as a significant force five or six years ago, the banner was certainly the primary driver of online advertising. Now, as I consider the future, I think that the banner's role, and its relative importance in the industry, is due for some changes.
The current economic crisis is causing all of us to try to imagine what the next couple of years look like. There seems to be no question that the U.S. Gross Domestic Product will be down for next year, and maybe only flat in the following year. This will bring all of advertising down in a pretty substantial way, maybe 8% to 10% down next year -- and possibly (but hopefully not) the same amount the next year. This will certainly pull down growth for the online ad industry. Most likely, our industry will be flat or show a bit of growth -- maybe low single digits -- in each of those years, but it certainly won't be uniformly distributed across online media types. Who will win and who will lose in the fight for online market share in the next two years? Here are my thoughts:
Whither the banner? It's not going away any time soon, but it's going to lose a lot of ground over the next two years. It's just not as good at driving pure ROI as search, or at driving pure advertising impact as video or sponsorships or other rich media. What do you think?
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Dave Morgan, founder of TACODA and Real Media, is Chairman of -- and a partner in -- The Tennis Company, which owns TENNIS.com, and TENNIS and SMASH Magazines.
Online Spin for Thursday, November 20, 2008: