Most entrepreneurs and operators of digital media and marketing firms are glad 2009 is over and they are looking forward to an improved 2010. Though mid-2009, U.S. digital advertising revenues were down 5.3% from the same period in 2008 according to the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report. As of the third-quarter 2009 Forrester Research was forecasting a 13.7% increase in 2010 for digital advertising revenues. Key segments that will likely drive growth in 2010 include:
Content Platforms – We will likely continue to see content aggregators grow both organically and through acquisition in 2010. But the real growth will come through the continued advancement of automation technologies that will produce content people are seeking and deliver advertisements that reach desired audiences. Large-scale players include Demand Media and Internet Brands (NASDAQ: INET). A smaller, emerging player includes Mail.com Media Corporation (MMC), which was founded by Jay Penske in 2004.
Mobile – Yes, this category has made the list of “emerging trends” each year for the past decade, but what was not in the aughts will begin in the tens. U.S. mobile marketing expenditures are expected to grow from $1.7 billion in 2009 to $2.2 billion in 2010 according to the Mobile Marketing Association. Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) recent aggressiveness in the mobile space, whether its pending acquisition of mobile ad network Admob or the launch of its Android mobile operating platform, will have significant ripple effects in 2010. Combined with Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry platforms, consumers are making a meaningful shift to smartphones which will allow advertisers to deliver more targeted advertisements.
Social Engagement – This is the bucket for social games, networks and other points of engagement. While social gaming company Zynga is a great example, there are multiple emerging companies with innovative approaches. A couple of examples include digital agency Zugara’s augmented reality games/applications for marketers, and mobile social network FourSquare that awards points to consumers for broadcasting their location to a network of friends via their mobile device.
The next decade should be fun.