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Slicing the Advertising Pie

Online advertising spending will reach $16.7 billion in 2006 according to research firm eMarketer. Google and Yahoo! are the two biggest players, with 23% and 19% of the market respectively, with a variety of other services collecting the other $10 billion this year. Advertising networks are popping up every week, looking for their own slice of the available millions through group targeting, niche marketing, and interactive formats.

The past week saw the introduction of new advertising networks from Adify, Automattic's WordPress.com, and FeedBurner. Om blogged about Adify yesterday.

Any advertising network needs to have enough inventory and targeting to cover their client sites. Large FM Publishing sites such as Digg and GigaOm might run through ad inventory from one network quickly, requiring the sites to serve ads from multiple networks. Advertising sales teams are a limiting factor in the growth of ad networks, and there are only so many talented individuals to go around. Is there a shortage of advertising talent in our new Web economy?

Om now relies on advertising full-time to run his new startup. We run through a few different advertising scenarios in this podcast, including ad-free memberships, in an attempt to better define the current marketplace and the options available to webmasters.

This week's PodSession, Slicing the Advertising Pie, is 20 minutes in length, a 9 MB download.