This year online ad spending will surpass radio ad spend in the States, a statistical first, according to eMarketer.
It projects that online advertising spend will total US$ 21.7 by year-end 2007, compared with US$ 20.4 billion for radio, writes MarketingCharts.
However, there are synergies between radio and the internet, and for the most part the two media complement rather than compete with each other, according to eMarketer's report "Radio Trends: On Air and Online."
Still, eMarketer expects US radio advertising spending to grow only 1.5 percent in 2007, to $20.4 billion from $20.1 billion in 2006, whereas it expects online advertising to increase by $4.8 billion in the same timeframe, or roughly 28 percent.
Moreover, the forecast suggests online advertising spend will grow 160 percent from 2006 to 2011, reaching $44.0 billion.
Though the accompanying growth rate for radio is hardly spectacular between 2006 and 2011, $2.5 billion more will be spent on radio advertising in 2011 - or a total of $22.6 billion, according to eMarketer.
Radio station websites and in-stream internet audio advertising will be the principal drivers of this growth, eMarketer said, with the internet, satellite radio, HD radio, podcasting and mobile devices potential enhancers of growth.
"While advertising spending is growing rapidly online, it is not necessarily at the expense of radio," said Ben Macklin, senior analyst and author of the report.
"There seems to be no reason why this market cannot find a new lease on life and benefit from the growth in the online sector. Advertisers should not abandon radio in favor of the web, but combine the two to take advantage of the unique attributes of each."