Is This The Year Ad Spending Online Tops Print?

Internet advertising in the U.S. will once again post 20 percent-plus yearly growth this year, and, for the first time, surpass print ad spending, according to a new forecast.
So says research firm eMarketer, which cited Madison Avenue’s growing “comfort” with the online medium in a report released Thursday. As a predictive force, the firm has been on target of late – it projected online ad revenue to come in at $31.3 billion in 2011, reasonably close to the group’s final tally of $32 billion
For 2012, eMarketer projects ad spending on internet platforms to reach $39.5 billion in the U.S., trumping the $33.8 billion it believes will be spent on newspapers and magazines. By 2016, it says online spending will hit $62 billion, not only doubling up on print but also approaching the lofty $72 billion projected for traditional television.
“Advertisers’ comfort level with integrated marketing is greater than ever, and this is helping more advertisers – and more large brands – put a greater share of dollars online, said eMarketer principal analyst David Hallerman in a statement.
Overall, the firm expects total ad spending to grow 6.7 percent this year to about $170 billion, with that growth driven by the national election and increased spending on mobile platforms.