It is a milestone that actually doesn't surprise anyone working in online/new media--but it is here nonetheless the IAB reports that online advertising has surpassed tv in the UK. The IAB further comments: "The UK remains the world leader in terms of market share for online, with the medium accounting for 23.5% in the first half of 2009. The results signal a significant restructure of marketing budgets as advertisers follow their audiences online and look to the internet for even more measureable and accountable methods."
Great quote from the Guardian piece on this event: "The milestone marks a watershed for the embattled TV industry, the leading ad medium in the UK for almost half a century. It has taken the internet little more than a decade to become the biggest advertising sector in the UK." It sure seems like the last ten years have been the warm-up to the more revolutionary impact of internet technology.
Times Online points out something interesting: "Interruptive formats, which include pop-up adverts, fell by 9 per cent to £6.8 million." Yes, pop-ups, pop-unders and other annoying stuff is not that productive or brand endearing for advertisers.
But I really wonder if the internet is gaining faster than tv is just losing audience. TV programming seems lost and confused--or US driven here in the UK. (although the BBC series on Darwin is awesome). We have Virgin cable at home and I think I spend more time looking for something to watch than actually watching something. (actually maybe I need a digital set-top box recorder).
We believe that online will accelerate its dominance over print and TV in 2010 and beyond. The media landscape will change completely, forever when more people start browsing from their slick new HD TV's--watching HD video from YouTube. TV will just be something embedded in a browser. The Convergence is upon us soon enough. Yet, the main driver is the pace, immediacy and interactive nature of online. You can have multiple threads of activity and you get relevant stuff faster. And online is portable to iPhones (=ubiquitous).
From the content creation side, the big difference between online and TV/print is the cost of production and distribution. It is hard to see how the established media players can compete against the longtail armed with HD video cameras, DSLRs--and their passion. Distribution cost are zero! (ok maybe $100/year if you use Blip.tv) It should not be a shock that advertisers are looking to move to the new wave of reach, relevance and interaction. Sure, the reach is not the same, but really that just means the advertisers need to change how they buy if they want to find the right brands to support.
Of course we see Heritage Key as an example of the innovative edge of new media. It is a content-oriented community with real-time social web interaction. It is a web2.0 plus virtual. The site adds value to real-world travel and education in an entertaining, sticky manner. People can share their travel adventures to ancient world places and make their own discoveries.
But we are not alone at all. There are other sites to study that have strong UGC and innovative interactive applications--look at Livestrong with their Daily Plate ( and you can check other Demand Media sites here). Or look at the podcasters like Cali over at Geek Brief TV running very tight, focused, regular video. On the grand scale, it is also very interesting to watch how CNN is mixing broadcast with online in a serious way.
It would be really interesting to look at demographic data for the under 25's to see where the online hours/week compares to TV viewership. If I had to guess it would be 10 hours plus online and 1-2 TV per week.