Analysis: Media Track - The rocket that is dotcom TV and radio adspend is set to continue its ascent

If early pointers are anything to go by, the turn of the new millennium will be marked by a sharp increase in UK television ad revenue.

If early pointers are anything to go by, the turn of the new

millennium will be marked by a sharp increase in UK television ad

revenue.



Estimates for January so far show increases of up to 13 per cent for the

ITV network when compared with the same month last year. Preliminary

estimates also reveal Channel 4 has a 10 per cent increase compared with

the same period, and Channel 5’s revenue has leaped by around 24 per

cent.



Dotcom advertising seems to be the driving force. Agencies estimate that

dotcom companies spent pounds 100 million on TV ads in the run-up to

Christmas.



And media buyers are expecting revenue to grow up to five-fold in the

coming year - a figure which greatly exceeds inflationary growth

rates.



Estimates for radio - a popular choice for net advertisers - predict 11

per cent growth.



Paul Brown, ad executive at Arc Advertising, says the January estimates

reflect the boost in the market and look set to continue throughout

2000.



The sharp upturn in technology-based advertising reflects the race to

claim a position on the internet. Already the fastest-growing medium of

all time, both traditional-media companies and start-ups are driving the

expansion.



But as airtime prices rise with increased demand, the newer, smaller

companies are struggling to keep up. There is a danger that more

established companies are in a position to promote their online products

more effectively - having the money and the marketing expertise to push

brands - while newer companies are left behind.



Some TV groups are trying to redress this balance. This month, Channel 5

announced that it has agreed to take equity stakes in internet companies

in return for allowing them airtime to advertise their businesses. And

last year - when Granada and Carlton took stakes in internet search

engine Ask Jeeves - the two broadcasters agreed to reinvest part of the

stake in television ads.



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