Online Ads to Surpass Radio

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Online advertising is set to overtake radio next year -- beating previous forecasts -- media experts have predicted.

Media services firm ZenithOptimedia forecasts that worldwide spending on internet advertising will grow 28.2 percent in 2007, compared with a rise of just 3.7 percent in the rest of the advertising market.

The U.K. is ahead of other countries in the share of advertising spending now going online, with 16.6 percent of U.K. spending now directed at the internet.

In a forthcoming report on worldwide advertising, Zenith says: "We now expect the internet to overtake radio in 2008, a year earlier than in our last forecast. We forecast the internet to account for nearly 9 percent of global ad spend by 2009, and its share should reach double digits early next decade."

The internet now attracts more than 10 percent of advertising spending in Norway and Sweden as well as the U.K., and is expected to pass the 10 percent mark in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Denmark, Israel, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan by 2009.

Zenith said it had "downgraded" its forecasts for newspaper and magazine advertising as publishers move to invest more in online products and less in print. Advertising expenditure is "still growing in both media, in nominal terms at least, but after adjusting for inflation newspaper expenditure is essentially stagnant," Zenith said.

Worldwide online advertising spending is set to hit £16.6 million (US$32.6 million) this year, slightly behind the £18.2 million expected spend on radio adverts and substantially behind the £63.1 million spending on newspaper adverts. But by 2009, internet advertising is set to hit £21.5 million, with radio on £19.5 million and newspapers on £66.9 million.

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