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Web Spend, Broadband Access, China Users – Research Shows All Going Up!

If I had a nickel for every internet study released, I’d be a rich man able to afford an extra shot of espresso in my coffee. Reuters has details of a new study from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Global Entertainment and Media Outlook (just rolls off the tongue) that reveals, nor surprisingly, an upward trend in internet numbers.

Here’s the gist of it…

  1. Spending on web advertising and fees paid by U.S. consumers to internet providers to reach $78.4 billion by 2011.
  2. Online advertising in the U.S. will account for $35.4 billion of that.
  3. China web users will overtake the U.S. by 2009.
  4. Expect 89 million U.S. broadband subscribers by 2011.

The only loser? Dial-up spending will decrease by 25.5% – so no more having to listen to that screech-owl that lives in your modem. ;-)

First the Cola Wars — Now the Search Engine Wars

Ah the eighties. Remember the good old “cola wars”? Well the marketing war being waged today is far beyond the likes of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Welcome to the search engine wars. The search engine wars, however, have moved past including only the likes of Google, Yahoo! and MSN. The latest saga in the search engine wars involves Google and a non-search engine, Ebay.

Apparently, the ongong feud between Google and Ebay has hit the tipping point, with Ebay announcing today that it has pulled all of its advertising from the Google AdWords program. This action comes after Google threw a party during the Ebay Live conference in Boston earlier this week, possibly in the hopes of luring away customers. The crux of the issue seems to be that Google Checkout directly competes now with Ebay’s Paypal system.

PR 8 Links from Google.com Only $1,995

As the debate over paid links continues in reaction to Google’s recent line in the sand it may shock many that Google is currently offering paid links on Google.com for the very reasonable price of just $1,995 – and as an added bonus you’ll also receive a free Google Mini.

Yesterday while digging through a competitor’s backlinks for a client I noticed a domain that seemed remarkably out of place: google.com. In addition to adding themselves to a large number of low quality directories, the competitor had discovered that if you purchase the Google Mini you have the privilege of contributing to their exceedingly large list of “customer success stories“. While many of these success stories are for established and recognizable businesses who sincerely appreciate the advanced search capabilities the Mini provides, others are undoubtedly as pleased with their new link as their new Google Mini.

Internet Retailer 2007 Thoughts From First Day

I am at the Internet Retailer Conference in San Jose, CA this week along with 4,000 other e-tailers. Here are some thoughts from the first day.

Jim McCann, founder and CEO of 1-800-Flowers, gave the keynote address. Closing in on $1 billion in annual sales, 1-800-Flowers has aggressively acquired other companies in past years and expanded far outside flowers into other gift products such as candy and wine. According to Internet Retailer, that growth has been expensive, and all is not good within the company. I find that easy to believe. McCann filled his 30 minutes with bad jokes and very little substance. He was either trying very hard to keep the company strategy under wraps or he does not have a company strategy. I suspect the latter. He ended his talk with a rather bizarre plea for help from the audience. No thank you–if I figure out a better way to sell flowers online, I do not feel like sharing it with Jim McCann. I would rather start a flower company.

Online Ad Spending Up—in China & Russia

eMarketer reports that online advertising spending is on the rise in China and Russia.

China

Last year, online advertising generated over $500 million in revenues, up 54% over 2005′s revenues. With news like that, you’d think online adveritising would have a corner on the market, but television advertising spending was still 56 times that of online ad spending, for at least five months of last year.

eMarketer says that this growth is fueled in large part by the ever-growing Chinese population. They also cited Nielsen//NetRatings as saying that 81% of Chinese advertising dollars renminbi goes to television, newspaper and magazine advertising.

Russia

IAB: Search Doing Well, Metrics Meeting Outcome

The Interactive Advertising Bureau seems to be trying valiantly to stay at the top of the news this week. They’ve released their 2006 Internet Advertising Revenue Report and the results from last week’s closed meeting with Nielsen//NetRatings and comScore.

2006 Internet Advertising Revenue Report: Search is Looking Good
The IAB’s report for last year says that search is looking good: 40% of online ad revenues came from paid or natural search. Search advertising revenues came to $6.8 billion, which is higher than 2005′s $5.1 billion, even though search dropped off an entire percentage point (gasp) from 2005.

Other areas they looked at: “Display advertising, Classifieds, and Referrals accounted for 32 percent, 18 percent, and 8 percent of 2006 full year revenues respectively.”

The full study is available in PDF form.

ValueClick Announces FTC CAN-SPAM Investigation

It doesn’t look like lead-generation company ValueClick is going to the acquisition-ball anytime soon. It’s unlikely that anyone will want to acquire the company until it’s had the chance to respond to a Federal Trade Commission investigation.

According to ClickZ, ValueClick filed a Form 8-K (which is basically SEC talk for “we have something material to tell the world”) revealing the FTC is investigating the company for possible violations of the CAN-SPAM act.

“We continue to believe that we are compliant with all current state and federal regulations pertaining to our lead generation activities, and we intend to fully cooperate with the FTC in connection with their inquiry,” John Ardis, vice president, corporate strategy for ValueClick, told ClickZ in an e-mail.