Has the "tipping point" finally been reached for online ad revenue?
While the web is certainly ubiquitous, and seemingly fertile ground for advertising revenue, it is also well known that more traditional businesses (newspapers, magazines, television), for which ad revenue has been their life-blood, have had a hard time converting high returns for online ads, because they just haven't had the monopolies on viewership to justify the rates.
Now perhaps that trend is turning the corner? According to recent reports, television media companies are reporting for the first time, that based on viewership, they will begin charging more for online ad rates than for prime-time tv advertising spots. While the web has always been fertile ground for small businesses to easily market themselves by paying for placement in search returns with Google Adwords and Yahoo's Search Marketing (formerly Overture), the "old world" advertising giants have been slow to the game. With them now perhaps entering the game, they may change the playing field a bit. There's probably never going to be a return to the outsized amounts of money newspapers and magazines and television used to command for advertising, because the web has broken their monopoly.
But as more traditional media becomes digital (television and newspapers), Google and Yahoo could cede some ad revenue ground. Though, as Michael Jackson's death reminded everybody, it may be a while before people go anywhere other than Google or Yahoo to search.