More Advertising Dollars Move Online
A survey by Nielsen Media Research shows that spending on Internet advertising surged 23.3% in 2005 -- the largest growth in the categories studied. Spanish-language TV was next (16.9%), followed by cable TV (11%) and local magazines (10.1%). Network radio, network TV and national newspapers all saw a decline.
In addition to simply following the eyeballs, advertisers may merely be seeking out audiences that have previously been untapped. The may also be reacting to the realities reflected in another Nielsen study showing that (surprise!) TV audiences don't always watch the commercials. The study noted that in February, the hit CBS crime show CSI garnered an average 9.5 Nielsen rating while the actual show was on, but that the ratings fell to 8.1 during commercial breaks. Similarly, American Idol experienced an 8% audience drop between the show and commercials. Hey, you gotta get a snack or hit the bathroom sometime!
A number of conclusions can be drawn from these studies, but perhaps the most significant is that as ad viewership metrics become more detailed, media buyers are able to make better decisions about how they spend their dollars. If the Internet proves to be a more measurably effective advertising medium -- and network TV measurably less so -- ad spending will reflect that.