eMarketer lops $1.3B off 2008 online ad estimate

Online ad spending is expected to increase in 2008, but not as much. Display ads are hit harder than search ads.

Analyst firm eMarketer has reduced its estimate for online ad spending in 2008 to $23.6 billion from its August estimate of $24.9 billion, with this year's online ad growth rate of 11.3 percent dropping to 8.9 percent in 2009.

Looking on the bright side, eMarketer said in a statement, "It is important to note that the lowered estimate still represents an increase of 11.3 percent over 2007 spending." And eMarketer expects spending to reach $25.7 billion in 2009, $28.5 billion in 2010, and ultimately $42 billion in 2013.

But the rough news still jumps out. Hardest hit is spending on display ads, the graphical variety that typically are used to promote brands, for which the growth rate estimate was cut from 16.9 percent to 3.9 percent. "Display is suffering because many of the vertical industries--such as auto and retail--that are key players for the format are slashing their ad budgets," eMarketer said.

The other major variety, textual ads placed next to search results, is expected to grow at 21.4 percent in 2008, its lowest level so far. Next year the search-ad growth rate should be at 14.9 percent, the company predicted, dropping to 10.4 percent in 2013.

The search-ad growth rate is still larger than the overall market, though.

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