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Who's Saying What: A Recap Of Predictions For '09 Ad Spending

This story was written by David Kaplan.
Today brought yet another forecast for ther 2009 display advertising. Since it's hard to keep all the various ad forecasts straightparticularly with the frequent revisionshere's a quick rundown of some from the past three months from prominent internet ad revenue prognosticators:

Who: eMarketer:

Prediction: cut its '09 forecast in half: the researcher now expects 2009 online ad spend to rise 4.5 percent to $24.5 billion;

Comment: The quick react to yesterday's Interactive Advertising Bureau's tally for 2008 and Q4 suggests that no one really knows how low it's going to get this year.

Who: Barclays:

Prediction: A meager 2.3 percent increase from '08 to $23.7 billion.

Comment: Back in December, Barclays called for a 6 percent gain in '09. As for the particular categories, in Barclays' eyes, even search is not quite so robust anymore. Back in December, the investment bank's analysts thought the segment would rise 20 percent this year, but now, it looks like search will only grow 8 percent. Meanwhile, four months ago, display's 4 percent growth outlook looked weak; but with Barclays now expecting display to slip into negative territory, down 1.2 percent this year, that previous view looks positively rosy in hindsight.

Who: BernsteinResearch:

Prediction: Last month, Jeff Lindsay forecast that global online ad spend will grow 5.9 percent this year4.1 percent in the U.S. and 7.2 percent overseas.

Comment: That's slightly more optimistic than the recent spate of downward revisions by other analysts, but he's just as despairing as the rest when it comes to display, which he anticipates will slip 1.5 percent. More after the jump.

Who: Veronis Suhler

Prediction: 9.1 percent global digital media growth, compared to its previous forecasts of 15.5 percent.

Comment: In general, this is definitely one of the more optimistic downward revisions.

Who: UBS:

Prediction: As of last month, UBS'  latest estimate for online revenues in 2009 is 1.4 percent growtha major revision from the previous forecast of 10.4 percent growth just three months before.

Comment: It's bad and only going to get worse. Just wait until the next online ad spend downgrade.

Who: JP Morgan:

Prediction: Analyst Imran Khan began the year by proclaiming performance-based search ads' dominance was set and branded display would continue to play a secondary role, even after the economy returns to some kind of normalcy.

Comment: Specifically, Khan said the U.S. search ad market would rise 10 percent in 2009 to nearly $16 billion. In contrast, display ads, which includes both performance and branded advertising, will grow only 6.3 percent to $8.4 billion this year. In other words, negative all around.


By David Kaplan