Brain Food: Stat of the month - Into the ether

$19.7bn

Estimated global online ad spend, 2009

That's up from a predicted $11.6 billion this year. Advertisers have clearly overcome the late '90s bubble and are taking the second generation of websites seriously - hence Rupert Murdoch's $580 million purchase of MySpace last year. As with the other staples of 'Web 2.0', such as podcasting, Flickr and YouTube, MySpace has the numbers to match the hype: launched in 2003, the networking site already has 100 million registered users. Of course, advertisers love to be down with the next big thing; beyond that, the technology allows them to know instantly who's into what and to target them directly. Understandably, the newspapers aren't happy. Merrill Lynch diplomatically describes the outlook for newspaper ad revenues as 'increasingly sober'. Indeed, it is said that 25% of print classified ads will be lost to online media in the next 10 years. But while newspapers invest in DVD giveaways and better presses (£600m in the case of News International), they should work out how to tackle the web and make money out of it themselves. Newspaper 2.0, perhaps?

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