How to adapt to the online world: lessons from MTV, AOL and Comcast at ad:tech New York 2009

Stephen Whiteside

The internet is expected to record a decrease in advertising expenditure in the US for the first time in almost a decade this year, with eMarketer recently pegging the rate of this decline at 3.9%. Despite this, the medium is still set to improve its market share at the expense of other, more traditional, forms of media like TV and print, continuing what is regarded as a long-term shift in the industry. More specifically, marketers are said to be favouring this channel as it allows them to reflect the changing behaviour of consumers, and because it offers a wide range of metrics through which they can more closely measure the impact of their campaigns.

However, the advent of social networks, blogs, video-sharing portals and other such Web 2.0 properties has led to a severe fragmentation of the online world, posing substantial challenges when it comes to monetising even the most popular portals, and also to identifying which sites offer the best route for advertising brands. Moreover, established media companies are confronted with the need to adapt their existing structures and business models to the unique demands of the web, a process which provides substantial obstacles of its own.