The value of us

The Center for Media Research reveals that ad spending on citizens’ media (aka user-generated content, ugh) is doing the hockey-stick:

…[A]dvertising spending on user-generated online media – blogs, podcasts and RSS – did not begin until 2002, but this combined spending has grown to $20.4 million by the end or 2005, a 198.4% increase over the 2004 level. Spending on blog, podcast and RSS advertising is projected to climb another 144.9% in 2006 to $49.8 million. Some of the key growth drivers are continued audience fragmentation, the perceived ineffectiveness of traditional advertising, and the desire to reach the elusive 18- to 34 year-old demographic.

Some key findings:

* User-generated media remains primarily national in scope with 98.1%, or $20.0 million, of all advertising spending coming from the broader market in 2005.

I predict that the next phase will have local and nicheier content growing as the infrastructure for advertising on them gets easier and as smaller advertisers discover and learn about the opportunty.

* Blog advertising accounted for 81.4%, or $16.6 million, of total spending on user-generated online media in 2005, but blog ads will comprise only 39.7%, or $300.4 million, of overall spending in 2010

… as other citizens’ media — podcasts, vlogs, wiki products, and things not yet invented — grow. Witness:

* Podcast advertising totaled only $3.1 million in 2005, but is projected to reach $327.0 million in 2010, when it will account for 43.2% of all user-generated media advertising
* Spending on RSS (Really Simple Syndication) advertising totaled $650,000 in 2005 and will grow to $129.6 million in 2010
* Total spending on user-generated online media is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 106.1% from 2005 to 2010, reaching $757.0 million in 2010
* Technology was the largest single category at $4.0 million in 2005, due primarily to the technology-savvy early adopters of user-generated media
* Auto was the second largest marketing category, generating $3.9 million in 2005, as car manufacturers utilized user-generated media to market their higher-end models to the “influential” demographic…

[via MIT Advertising Lab]

Here’s my latest Guardian column pushing the idea of an open ad marketplace to support and explode citizens’ media. Much more on this later.