I had lunch yesterday with Simon Nicholls and Khurram Farooq of Ingenious and we were remarking on how despite the current macroeconomic malaise most of the online advertising businesses we are familiar with are still experiencing strong growth.
If the overall market is flat to down and your area is growing, that means someone else is really feeling the pain – unsurprisingly that is traditional media. ITV reported it’s results yesterday and this is from the FT write up (damm their paywall):
It is a sign of an industry in trouble when the best a company can say is that it is declining less than the rest. Yesterday’s presentation of full-year figures from ITV, Britain’s largest free-to-air television broadcaster, gave off a whiff of desperation. Yes, the flagship channel, ITV1, lost 2 per cent of its viewers or “audience share” last year, but look at BBC1 and BBC2 (both lost 3 per cent) and Channel 4 and Five (both lost 10 per cent).
Most if not all of that audience is moving to the internet, and even though we have some way to go before we perfect the monetisation of that traffic there is enough there for the online advertising industry to keep moving forward.
I have written before that if we have done a good job of choosing the sectors in which we invest our time and/or money then we will be working in high-growth pockets which should still keep growing through an economic slowdown, albeit not as quickly. That is what we are seeing here.