This year, spending on online advertising surpassed that of print newspapers for the first time, according to data collected by research firm eMarketer.
U.S. advertisers will have spent $25.8 billion by the end of the year, compared to $22.8 billion in print, according to the Wall Street Journal. Total ad spending is expected to grow 3 percent to $168.5 billion. Meanwhile, eMarketer projects that spending on print advertisements will fall 8.2 percent this year and 6 percent in 2011.
"It's something we've seen coming for a long time, but this is a tipping point," says Geoff Ramsey, CEO of eMarketer.
Although the report marks a major milestone in the development of online marketing, few analysts predict that print will lose significance as a viable marketing medium. Most experts argue that the marketing campaigns will become multichannel initiatives that incorporate email, social media, SEO, direct mail, newspaper ads and a whole range of other marketing perspectives.
The fact that major declines in newspaper revenue have tapered off in recent years further emphasizes the weakened but still relevant role of print.