US networks reaping web ad profits

The four main US television networks are in line to generate $120 million (E81.2m) of revenues in 2007 from free web streaming of their content, according to a media buyer Starcom.

The networks have been reluctant to acknowledge the size of their streaming businesses, partly because online video advertising has become a sticking point in pay negotiations with the writers who are currently striking. However, it is clear advertisers are flocking to web streaming. “Based on what we're paying for spots across the four networks, we estimate this market to be worth more than $120 million,” said Tracey Scheppach, senior vice-president of Starcom.

The total online video advertising market will be worth close to $1.3 billion this year after doubling in size in 2006, according to Accustream, the digital media research company.

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