The Rise and Fall of Online Advertising in 2009

It will be the best of times and the worst of times.

Amidst the 2009 predictions for e-new year, there is a consensus that it will bring both financial ruin and success. Chances are that both will come true.

eMarketer released insights of the Internet's plight into the aught nines -- and well, they're kind of what you'd expect. Their senior analysts offered up their best guesses. Let's take a look.

Online Advertising

David Hallerman opines that online spending will remain steady. Not only will video ad spending run "counter to overall economic developments, rising by 45% in 2009 to reach US$ 850 million," but search marketing spending will grow by 14.9% in 2009, to US$ 12.3 billion also. He bases his speculation upon a sharp escalation of professional video content on the Web as a way for brand marketers to build their base and that search marketing is a measurable tool "so it will maintain its place in many budgets and increase in some others, as advertisers look for secure and effective methods to combat fear in an economic meltdown."

Yet, despite all the online advertising, Jeffrey Grau predicts that online retail sales will start to feel the impact of the economic crisis and will only see minor increases in online sales. It's not such a dramatic prediction given the current economic climate. Any e-commerce sales growth will be a result of "increased spending by consumers who have long been online buyers."

While the increased revenue of online advertising is questionable, Lisa E. Phillips is confident that we'll see an increase in multicultural marketing. With more and more African-American and Hispanic users out there, marketers will begin to cater to a wider market of consumers via "language- and culture-specific messages that evolve from their general market campaigns."

Social Media

E-commerce will be a growing revenue stream for social network sites. Debra Aho Williamson says to "expect both MySpace and Facebook to enhance their self-serve advertising systems to allow consumers and businesses to buy and sell real-world goods and services." The general online advertising decline will be social networking's gain, as smaller and niche social networks will go looking for bailouts and mergers from the bigger ones. Mergers and acquisitions are no longer for Wall Street only.

Traditional Media

Unfortunately, while traditional media will still linger into 2009, it will remain on the decline. Carol Krol maintains that "newspaper advertising will continue to decline in the new year more than any other medium." With eMarketer estimating that US TV ad spending will decline 4.2% to US$ 66.9 billion in 2009, the economy's impact will be at its greatest.

So there it is. Will 2009 be the year of a miraculous economic comeback or will it be a Darwinian model of survival of the fittest? Tell us what you think.