DoubleClick Takes Wide Angle in Sector Report

A seller’s market is emerging in online advertising and consumer control over media is escalating. These are two of the key trends noted in a new DoubleClick report that takes a look back at the last ten years of online advertising.

The report, authored by DoubleClick Director of Research Rick Bruner, uses custom data commissioned from Nielsen//NetRatings to paint in broad strokes a picture of the shape of Web marketing today versus a decade ago.

Called “Decade in Online Advertising,” the 21-page document offers no big surprises, but rather an assessment of long-term trends combined with a walk down memory lane. In it, Bruner lays out the recent growth figures in ad spending, impression volume and CPMs; and he predicts advertisers will feel mounting pressure to optimize their media buying efficiencies. He also dredges up the first recorded instances of banner ads, on the site HotWired in 1994.

The report’s top-line finding is that a seller’s market has emerged, and after several years of struggle, publishers are once more on top. DoubleClick notes that the 32 percent rise in online ad spending far outstrips the five percent lift in the number of U.S. Web users and their pageviews.

At the same time, Web users are demanding greater control over their media, a trend DoubleClick only sees continuing through the use of ad blocking technologies. Bruner used the term “invertising” in the report to describe the more relevant, more polite messaging that marketers now feel compelled to consider.

“The Latin root of ‘advertise’… literally means ‘to turn towards,” notes the report, rather philosophically. “This sense of confrontation at the essence of advertising may be what undergoes the most radical change in the next decade of marketing sponsorship,” it says.

The report also discusses the rise of accountability in advertising in general, and it credits the Web for driving some of that.

“I wouldn’t say the increased demand for accountability is being driven entirely by online, but the fires are being stoked,” said Bruner. “It’s been both a blessing and a curse to Internet advertising that we promised from the beginning that we were so accountable.”

Other aspects of online marketing examined in the report include the primacy of rich media and search, and the emergence of blogs.

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