A bleak outlook, to be sure. We've already seen predictions of a slowdown in online display advertising.
Morrison predicts that among industry verticals to likely suffer the most initially is the auto vertical followed by finance and travel. In addition, he notes that GM's recent advertising budget cuts will affect both online and offline properties - it was previously thought that online would not be affected but his team is finding the impact being felt by publishers online to the tune of a 30% reduction in spending compared to the first half of 2008.
AOL's announcement last week that it was being impacted in finance, travel and auto verticals is further proof of a deterioration in spending according to Morrison. Among public companies whose business is primarily online, he sees Yahoo! followed by Google, TheStreet.com and BankRate as the most affected by the recession.
In our opinion, with the ad exchange model's ability to squeeze the last penny out of a publisher's inventory through the open auction, the "media recession" may prove to be an important next phase in proving the ad exchange's value to advertisers and publishers.