AdAge 100 report finds Web, cable booming

 If advertising is the mother’s milk of media, then the Web has latched and continues to suck vigorously whilst ad spenders wean newspapers against their will

Since 1981 Advertising Age has compiled the Media 100 list, and posted its data on revenues and market share at its Data Center, which I suggest you bookmark and investigate as a starting point for any future research into this market. The data will naturally be skewed to follow the biggest firms: lists such as top newspapers, by revenues:

I chanced across this data repository after catching a reference to AdAge’s 2007 Media 100 report which was released earlier this week. A cover article by writer Bradley Johnson sunmmarizes the results which contained only one surprise, at least to me, the strength of cable.  Johnson writes:

“Cable-system-and-satellite revenue among the Media 100 jumped 14.8%, reflecting both higher prices and cable players’ success in selling additional services. Cable kingpin Comcast Corp. ranked No. 2 on the list. Three other major players — DirecTV Group, Cox Enterprises and EchoStar Communications — ranked among the top 10. Time Warner, meanwhile, owns 84% of Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable system operator after Comcast.”

Meanwhile, a related article from MediaPost shows once again that the rush of money to the Web is not flowing to content creators but to a handful of aggregation websites. That great sucking sound you hear across the United States is content creators, and their companies, trying to latch on to the teat only to get slapped away. Summarizing a report from the Internet Advertising Bureau in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers, MediaPost writes:

“Internet ad spending remained concentrated among the top 10 sellers online, which accounted for 70% of all money spent. Ninety-one percent of all ad dollars online were spent with publishers in the top 50 . . . Search (41%), banners/display (21%) and classifieds (17%) continued to account for the highest percentage of ad spending online . . .  while search increased its share and banners/display ads remained constant, the proportion of online budgets allocated to classified ads dropped 3% from the first half of 2006.”

So let me just tell you what the IAB just reported. Not only are old media losing ad revenues to new media. The revenue flowing to new media is remaining concentrated at the top. The tens of thousands of serious bloggers, the millions of other websites, they’re all sucking hard, but sucking wind when it comes to revenues.

Tell me: how does this revenue picture equate to a more democratic media?