The US advertising market is in the tank, but there’s still plenty of growth happening abroad, especially in emerging markets like Eastern Europe and Asia. And the easiest place to find it is in China.
Research firm Analysys International, for instance, says that online ad spending has been steadily accelearting every quarter, and jumped an eye-popping 72.5% in Q2.
Much of this, of course, has to do with ad dollars pouring in for the Olympics. And the Chinese online ad market is growing off a tiny base; spending in Q2 was about $410 million.
Analysys doesn’t offer a full-year 2008 projection for online advertising, but eMarketer estimates China’s online ad market in 2008 will be $1.4 billion, a 52% y/y increase. That means China’s entire online ad market is about the size Walt Disney’s annual US ad budget, and a fraction of the $26 billion that will be spent in the US on online advertising this year.
And China’s ad dollars are be spread over an even larger Internet population than the US: 253 million Internet connections in China vs 223 million in the US, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. This explains, in part, why VCs are eager to invest, despite the inherent risks of running a media company in a state-controlled economy.
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