Online Publishers Association: Paid Content Sales Rise in 2004

Online Publishers Association: Press Releases

The news here is the decline in the sale of business/investment content — down 6.3% from 2003. Bear market? Beardstown Ladies out of the market? Not likely. More plausible is the general realization by consumers that little business/investment content is truly unique and if not available from one source, can be located elsewhere.

 Research is up 6% but still a relatively small market at $115.1 million.

 Here’s the list of what I pay for:

  • Accuweather Premium: because I am a weather freak
  • WSJ.com: because I always have and probably always will.
  • Highbeam Research: because I need good research capabilities for my freelance writing
  • Vault.com: because I’m looking for a job and need access to employer profiles
  • Mediabistro: because I freelance and need access to a marketplace for assignments
  • Morningstar: because I do a lot of mutual fund related freelancing and need access to premium level research (and which I just cancelled).

The Surveillance Society

Drivers charged in plow scheme (March 12, 2005)

This rocket scientist driving a snow plow had to carry a GPS equipped phone so the state highway department could track his whereabouts. What does he do? Ditch the phone in a paper bag at a coffee shop while he does a private plowing gig at a nursing home, return, and gets nailed by the state police. 

Internet Ad Spending Numbers

TNS Media Intelligence

Numbers released earlier this week show a 21% gain in Internet advertising from 2003 to 2004. Placing the category sixth — after a steep fall off behind cable TV — at $7.4 billion.

 Although elections and the Olympics helped the surge, the general comeback of ad spending and the nearly 10 percent increase is directly correlated to the economy stabilizing out of its two-years of softness from 2001 through 2004.

 The big issue is sustainability and how the next business cycle will affect advertising allocations from the Big Five of newspapers ($24.5 bn), network television ($22.5 bn), consumer mags ($21.2 bn), spot tv ($17.3 bn) and cable ($14.2 bn).

 Given Google’s report that it did $1 billion in ad sales — I infer from Adsense — in Q4 2004, and extrapolating a ramp up across 2004 to $3 billion for the year, I wonder if ad word sales constitute the majority of the Internet spend as opposed to ad units and sponsorships sold directly by site ad sales staffs.

Some breakouts of the Internet ad spend are needed. The category is big enough and credible enough to deserve more parsing.