Last updated: October 16, 2008 - 9:13pm
Today's ugly media truth: Online advertising rates are falling. But so far it's hard to say how a recession will impact digital media. On one hand, the rate of online display ad spending has been slowing down. Though it reached $11.5 billion in the first half of this year, reports the Internet Advertising Bureau, the 15.2% growth rate that got the industry there was a lot slower than the rate seen in the first half of 2007, which was 27%. On the other hand, the slowing market may actually help, boosting traditional media's control over the digital media ecosystem by giving it an opportunity to buy smaller upstarts or watch them get crushed. Think about it this way: The digital businesses that may be hit hardest by a downturn aren't really media businesses at all. Instead, outfits like Facebook, Meebo, and Twitter provide fun tools and communications technologies for people who, when aggregated in one spot, may be worth a lot of ad dollars -- if they can actually grab them.