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Online advertising growth drops to levels seen back in 2001

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Online advertising may be in trouble. At least in terms of losing the leading role as the industry that provides the highest growth to marketers.

And by extension, this should affect – but probably, not much, at least not in the short to mid-term – some of our favorite players: the tech giants who have words like “social,” “search,” and “videos,” on their marquees – but whose truly lucrative business festering behind these monikers has always been advertising, drawing on the meticulously and unscrupulously collected private data of their users.

Think your Facebooks, your Googles, your YouTubes – and a multitude of others. Recently we learned that even Reddit can censor and/or contain, by means of “quarantining” content on its platform, to withholding ad revenues from its communities.

So – if the online digital market may be on the way to losing its dominant role – no internet-loving person will be particularly concerned about it. It may not even be happening – because failing to grow globally each year by more than 10 percent is, let’s face it, barely newsworthy.

But The Guardian has a different slant on the thing. The report suggests that “digital scandals – such as Cambridge Analytica, ‘fake news’ and ads appearing next to inappropriate YouTube videos such as extremist material” – are the reason internet platforms are projected to be pulling in growth of “only” 10 percent globally.

The paper quotes forecasts of “the global media agency group Zenith”- who said it was the cinema business that would benefit from this “tech slump” – by reportedly being set to grow its ad figures 12 percent next year.

There’s more to the Big Tech mistrust in the article than the simple “fake news, misinformation” angle – the Guardian seems to be arguing that nicer snacks and comfier seats are the harbingers of cinema theaters’ reemergence over the ubiquitous and very handy streaming services of the 21st century, like Netflix or Hulu.

Good luck with that, anyway.

Lastly, the Guardian notes that the growth of internet advertising was “always eventually going to slow with scale” – but now it sees “a wider shift in the market.”

And by the way, next year, internet advertising is expected to reach $650 billion globally.

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