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Techcrunch has just published a very interesting analysis of valuations of social networks. Here is its methodology:

Our model takes Comscore data for available countries and regions. We’ve graphed each of 26 well known social networks with the data we have been able to collect. We’ve then calculated the average advertising spend (estimated by PriceWaterhouseCoopers in a recent report ) for each person online in each of those countries. For example, in the U.S., the total 2008 estimated Internet advertising spend is $25.2 billion. We’ve divided that by the number of people online in the U.S. according to Comscore (191 million), to get an average Internet spend per person of $132.

I have charted the figures of interactive advertising spend per Internet user from this data below.


Source: Techcrunch, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Comscore

I haven’t looked at the PwC methodology, but presuming the raw data here is valid and comparable, this creates up some very interesting insights. The first question is why is the UK outspending other countries by so much, and why is Australia in second place?

I’ll think about and research this more, but some early speculation: UK’s advertising industry is probably more influential than in any other country, and has taken a strong lead in bring advertising into the online space. The BBC’s lead in digital content provision has helped not just to bring people online, but also to get them engaged in video and rich media. Australia’s online advertising space is dominated by the major media players more than almost any other developed country, and its advertising sales teams have been effective at both getting clients to advertise online, and to pay premium prices (compared to the many low cost advertising

Another interesting statistic is that Canada spends little more than half the US per capita in online advertising. Possibly US advertisers accessing the Canadian market are not accounted for in these figures. Canada was in fact the first country in the world where broadband overtook dial-up in number of users, in 2003.

Definitely interested in any insights anyone has into these statistics and the disparities between countries!

For the most current insights and trends in the living networks, follow @rossdawson on Twitter!

  • Rebecca

    Thanks Ross, this is very useful.



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Ross Dawson is globally recognized as a leading futurist, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, strategy advisor, and bestselling author. He is Founding Chairman of AHT Group, which consists of 3 companies: consulting, publishing, and ventures firm Advanced Human Technologies, future and strategy firm Future Exploration Network, and events company The Insight Exchange.

Ross is author most recently of Getting Results From Crowds, the prescient Living Networks, which anticipated the social network revolution, the Amazon.com bestseller Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships, and Implementing Enterprise 2.0. (click on the links for free chapter downloads). He is based in Sydney and San Francisco with his wife jewellery designer Victoria Buckley and two beautiful young daughters.

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