Online Ad Spending To Follow Video and Social Networking

According to a new report on the Global Online Media Landscape by The Nielsen Company Online, engagement by Internet users is deepening, in part a result of a shift toward video content and social networking as popular online subcategories.

Highlights of the report include:

  • The number of American users frequenting online video destinations has climbed 339% since 2003
  • Time spent on video sites has shot up almost 2,000% over the same period
  • In the last year, unique viewers of online video grew 10%, the number of streams grew 41%, the streams per user grew 27% and the total minutes engaged with online video grew 71%
  • There are 87% more online social media users now than in 2003, with 883% more time devoted to those sites.
  • In the last year, time spent on social networking sites has surged 73%
  • In February, social network usage exceeded Web-based e-mail usage for the first time.

Charles Buchwalter, SVP, Research and Analytics, Nielsen Online, says "The Internet remains a place of continuing innovation, with users finding new ways to integrate online usage into their daily lives... "

Since 2003, interests of the average online user have shifted significantly from portal-oriented browsing sites such as Shopping Directories and Guides and Internet Tools/Web Services, to video and social networking sites that have moved to the forefront, becoming the two fastest growing categories in 2009.

Audience Utilities, Video and Social Media (Percent Change by Segment)


2/03 to 2/09

2/08 to 2/09




Member Communities









Nielsen NetView, Combined Home and Work, April 2009

With the global recession in full swing, says the report, online display advertising has plateaued at 20% of total online ad spend in the U.S.. Spending on online display advertising by financial services, automobile and retail companies has declined steeply. On the other hand, several key, heavy ad-spending industries such as healthcare, consumer products and telecommunications appear to be moving even more spending online.

Share of Online Image-Based Advertising Impressions by Industry



Jan/Feb 2009

Financial Services






Retail Goods & Services






Consumer Goods






Source: Nielsen AdRelevance, US, April 2009 (Percentages Rounded)

The longer-term prospects for global online advertising continue to be brighter. Projecting, Nielsen reported:

  • Led by social media, search and video, the Internet's share of total ad spend will continue its steady upward trend as global economies emerge from the current recession
  • Given the increased focus on digital marketing by leading packaged goods companies, the Internet's share of commerce will continue to rise
  • In the age of Twitter, feedback barriers have all but disappeared, creating a near friction-free environment for playing back brand experience, campaign reactions or brand events. Recent public cases show that marketers must be quick to react to these channels of instant feedback
  • 30% of U.S. mobile subscribers recalled seeing some form of advertising while using their mobile phones, up from 18% one year prior

To download Nielsen's full report on the global online landscape found on The Nielsen Wire, please visit here.

1 comment about "Online Ad Spending To Follow Video and Social Networking".
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  1. Holly Brown from MRM Worldwide, May 3, 2009 at 9:46 p.m.

    There's no denying that social media allows us to explore information of interest, that we may not have been searching for and to discover people of interest we may not have otherwise known unless we were linking in, twittering and so forth. Push marketing has it's place, but we are living in the "feed" world. Even IE 8 lets us opt in to being "watched" as we surf the web and engage in content with the implied benefit of its recommendation engine. Social media is here to stay. Join the conversation. Opt in. Twitter something useful!

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