Online to overtake radio in global advertising spend as credit crunch slows UK growth

The internet is set to overtake radio and become the world’s third most popular advertising medium behind TV and print, according to media communications agency Carat.

Carat forecast that the internet’s global share of advertising spend will rise to 8.6 per cent in 2008, up from 7.3 per cent in 2007, overtaking radio which is set to drop from 7.5 per cent to 7.4 per cent, behind TV’s forecast share of 41.2 per cent and newspaper and magazine’s combined print share of 36 per cent.

Carat’s UK figures show that the only areas to see year-on-year growth in advertising spend this year are online and cinema – predicted to rise 20.6 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively in 2008. In 2009 the agency predicts a 15 per cent year-on-year growth for online and stable spending for cinema.

Online is set to have a 22.3 per cent share in 2008, behind newspapers at 30.3 per cent and television at 25.6 per cent and ahead of magazines at 11.4 per cent.

Newspapers and magazines’ share in advertising spend are both set to drop 1 per cent in 2008 and a further 1 per cent in 2009, with television set for a 2 per cent drop each year.

Jerry Buhlmann, chief executive of Aegis Media, which owns Carat, said: ‘Internet advertising is continuing to drive spending ahead of other sectors in nearly every region. Internet is set to overtake radio this year to become the world’s third most popular medium, behind TV and print.

‘But changes in consumer behaviour aren’t the only reason for this. With search now central to the planning and execution of any campaign, online media brings a greater level of accountability not just to itself but to TV, print and other forms of advertising. This is why we are predicting further strong growth for internet, even when advertisers are cautious in many of the other sectors.”

Carat forecast that the UK’s ad spend growth, which rose 6.3 per cent in 2007, would rise only 2.5 per cent in 2008 – down from the original forecast of 4.3 per cent, and would rise a further 2.2 per cent in 2009, down from the original forecast of 4.4 per cent.

The worldwide prediction for 2008 has been reduced by 1.1 per cent, down from 6.0 per cent to 4.9 per cent – due to downward revisions for ad spend in the US, China and Spain as well as the UK.

Buhlmann said: ‘It’s clear that the worldwide economic issues affecting businesses are having an impact on where and how advertisers spend their money. It is also significant that the US and the UK, as the highest spenders on advertising in their regions, are showing reductions in our forecasts. But overall, the picture is still one of growth.”

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