For advertising, niche rules, mass drools

I continue to be impressed with the signals that favor specialty media over mass or homogeneous media. For instance I only recently noticed the TNS Media Intelligence U.S. advertising summary for 2007. Overall the U.S. advertising market was flat with a 0.2 rounding error increase over the 2006 figures to bring the total spending  to $148.99 billion last year.

But niche media posted respectable increases: the Internet rose 15.9% to $11.31 billion; consumer magazines, the most web-like old medium, rose 7% to $24.43; even cable outpaced the GDP to rise 6.5 percent to $17.84 billion.

Down were the homogenizing media: network TV off 2 percent to $22.43 billion; spot TV down 10.2 percent to $15.59 billion; syndicated TV off 1.5% to $4.17 billion; local newspapers down 5.6 percent to $22.66 billion (how long before surpassed by Net?); and radio fell 3.5 percent to $10.69 billion.

I saved outdoor advertising for last. It rose 4.9 percent to $4.17 billion. Why? Not for its niche appeal but I would guess because of a general lessening of faith in the traditional advertising media. My guess is that outdoor benefits from advertiser confusion over how best to reach the busy consumer — catch them in a car staring out the window. Otherwise the winners allow for greater targeting and specificity and the losers are the unfocused aggregators of eyeballs.