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Ballmer: Digital Revolution Has "Reset" Advertising

The global advertising pie has been permanently "reset" to a lower level, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer proclaimed Wednesday at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. During his speech, Ballmer argued that traditional broadcast and print media outlets would have to plan for a smaller share of the advertising market, as revenues moved permanently to digital outlets.

"I don't think we are in a recession, I think we have reset," Ballmer said. "A recession implies recovery [to pre-recession levels] and for planning purposes I don't think we will. We have reset and won't rebound and re-grow." Ballmer was named media person of the year at this year's festival.

He said that in the future, "All content consumed will be digital, we can [only] debate if that may be in one, two, five or 10 years," he said. "There won't be [only traditional] newspapers, magazines and TV programs. There won't be [only] personal, social communications offline and separate. In 10 years it will all be online. Static content won't cut it in the future," he added. "Some say that the ad-funded model has not led to profitability. Google's search site makes money but past Google is there a publisher with an ad-funded or fee-based model that has made lots of money? No."

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