Just an Online Minute... Broadband Ads

After this Monday's discussion of the latest research from The Pew Internet & American Life Project, which says that Internet usage growth has "hit a brick wall," some people's initial reaction was a mix of depression and panic. "So this is as good as it gets?" A little impetuous, don't you think?

An email from one of our readers this morning may put some minds at ease. Pierre Bouvard, EVP of the Arbitron Company, wrote, "I agree that total new users will slow. The big growth will come not in new people to the web, but with increased usage."

Pierre forwarded me the latest Arbitron broadband study, available at http://www.arbitron.com/studies/broadband.pdf, which indicates that as more American's get broadband, time spent online will surge.

But will Americans, most of whom still connect to the web via a dial-up modem, jump on the broadband wagon anytime soon? A report issued yesterday by Myers Reports says they will. Myers predicts that cable broadband Internet penetration will grow to 16.9% of U.S. households by 2003, a more than five- fold increase over 2000 levels (3.1%).

According to Jack Myers, chief economist at Myers Reports, "This underscores the point that there is a large digital platform being created for programmers, advertisers, e- commerce retailers, interactive services, telephony and other applications."

That's good news for just about all kinds of ads - rich media ads, streaming ads, interactive TV ads and all the ad formats that haven't even been created yet. Panic? I wouldn't. Our jobs are about to get a whole lot more interesting.

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