One-sixth of the total US population read blogs in the first quarter of this year, according to a comScore Media Metrix report (PDF). The report also showed that 30% of all internet users visited blogs during the quarter.
What do these figures imply? Marketability for one. Blogs will become a much more desirable advertising venue. Taking into account the comparitively low-cost of advertising on the long-tail combined with the ability to reach truly “turned on” niche audiences, it’s inevitable that blogs will become an advertising darling.
My friend Rick Bruner, director of research for DoubleClick, co-authored the report. He says that the high price of advertising on top sites will lead companies to "start looking deeper down the food chain for more affordable advertising."?? (Quote from article on Red Herring.) He estimated that about half of total page views on the Internet are to small sites.
Rick reports some facts on his site Blog Business Consulting that ought to have marketers salivating…
- 50 million U.S. Internet users visited blog sites in the first quarter of 2005. That is roughly 30% of all U.S. Internet users and 1 in 6 of the total U.S. population
- Five hosting services for blogs each had more than 5 million unique visitors in that period, and four individual blogs had more than 1 million visitors each
- Of 400 of the biggest blogs observed, segmented by seven (nonexclusive) categories, political blogs were the most popular, followed by “hipster” lifestyle blogs, tech blogs and blogs authored by women
- Compared to the average Internet user, blog readers are significantly more likely to live in wealthier households, be younger and connect to the Web on high-speed connections
- Blog readers also visit nearly twice as many web pages as the Internet average, and they are much more likely to shop online
In other words, blog readers represent an avid (some say rabid), fast-growing segment of internet users. Now that the numbers are there to support it, surely advertising dollars will quickly trickle down the long tail.