What a turnaround. Last year, the market grew a robust 18%,
despite 0.4% growth in the fourth quarter. As Tech Crunch contributor Sarah Lacy says, "Suddenly everyone's bull scenario isn't double-digit growth; it's a year that doesn't tip negative."
As Lacy notes, just about everyone (minus Gawker Media's Nick Denton and Silicon Alley Insider's Henry Blodget, perhaps) got this story wrong, assuming that online advertising would ride out the recession because it's a more measurable medium than other forms of advertising. The other big assumption, she says, was that the huge discrepancy between time spent online and ad dollars spent online would have to even out at some point. "There's enough truth in these assumptions to ensure that online advertising won't have nearly as bad of a year as offline advertising," Lacy says, "But in this market, that's like saying a broken leg is better than an amputated one."