NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Internet advertising revenue, at $21.7 billion, will pass radio, at $20.4 billion, this year, according to a new eMarketer report, "Radio Trends: On Air and Online." By 2011 the web will pull in $44 billion, nearly double radio's projected revenues of $22.6 billion.
Of course, internet advertising growth, rising at a 28.6% clip in 2007, according to eMarketer predictions, is outpacing all other media. Other ad forecasters, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Universal McCann's Robert Coen, have internet ad revenue growing in the mid 20% range, while radio chugs along at less than 1%. Search is the largest part of internet spending at 40%.
Channels are complementary
But despite the disparity in growth rates, Ben Macklin, senior analyst at eMarketer, suggests the two channels complement each other. "Marketers should not abandon radio in favor of the web -- they should combine both mediums to take advantage of the unique attributes of both," he writes. (See also: Clear Channel is selling search terms to local radio advertisers.)
The Radio Advertising Bureau, as part of its ongoing Radio Advertising Effectiveness Lab studies, has recently taken a look at how internet and radio advertising interact in hopes of proving out synergies. It found ad recall increased by 21 percentage points when an internet ad was complemented by a radio ad vs. simply another internet ad. It's no wonder radio groups continue to launch online initiatives.
Earlier this year, Edison Media Research, a firm that specializes in radio research and exit polling, released a report on the public perception of various media and found radio trailed the internet in that realm as well. Some 33% of consumers 12 and older called the internet the most essential medium, behind TV at 36% but way in front of radio at 17%.
Five years later
Compare that with the results of the same question asked in 2002, when 39% named TV, 26% named radio and only 20% chose the internet. (In both studies, Edison surveyed about 2,000 people who kept Arbitron radio diaries.)
According to ZenithOptimedia, internet ad spending in China, growing at 70% a year, caught up with radio in 2006, and will become the third-largest medium in China by 2009, following TV and newspapers.