eMarketer publishes the results of a survey by ZenithOptimedia about the evolution of add spendings by channel. The title is "Online Ad Spending to Outpace Overall Ad Market Growth" and the subtitle too talks about a overproportional growth for online advertising. All good news for the evangelists of online advertising, but I found the numbers for online to rather low. Now, let's have a look at them in another perspective.

In 2006 online add spending is supposed to end at a 5,8% share, knowing that people spend largely over 20% of their media-time online. In three years time the online advertising share will, according to this study, be at 8,6%. But how much time will people spend online by then? Let's make a few assumptions:

1. "The Web" & stuff
Pure internet use as we know it today will grow, and let's assume it grows to the same level as time spent watching TV, about 30%. Considering the emergence of video on the web, this sounds logical. By this logic, the growth of online advertising as predicted by ZenithOptimedia simply follows the growth of the medium itself: about 50% in two years time. I don't believe this.
Online advertising is still in an infant stage. All players (advertisers, media, media planners & creative agencies) are working hard to find the right model, to become more professional and to grasp the real potential of the web. This must result in a disproportionate growth. So 8,6% in 2009? Make that 14% or so (gut feel).

2. What is TV?
How is TV defined in this context? IP TV, Internet TV, interactive TV through cable, etc. The traditional broadcast model is being challenged thanks to new technology which allow for interaction. Viewers become participants. This again requires new communication strategies which are much closer to what today is called online advertising then to traditional broadcast TV commercials. It would be an interresting exercise to try and quantify this evolution too in a survey.

3. And how mobile and games?
What about the third screen, and the game console? Playstation and Microsoft are stepping up their efforts in in-game advertising. Mobile devices, especially phones, are probably more important in time spent by the consumer then TV. Advertising on these devices is still developing, but in three years time a lot can happen.

In my opinion the 8,6% share for online in 2009 may reflect the share of 'traditional' online advertising, meaning banners of all kind. But we'll for sure add the same amount in new channels and new ways of using interactive media for marketing purposes. The world is to the creative and innovative, the revolution is on!