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So Many, So Few

April 9, 2007 12:00 AM

By Abbey Klaassen

When it comes to online-advertising riches, the short tail is getting shorter. The latest issue of Advertising Age reports that a recent numbers-crunch from consultancy group Marketspace indicates the 10 biggest Internet players nabbed a whopping 99 percent of gross online-ad revenue last year.

If that's not enough to startle you, consider: That's up from 95 percent in 2005.

The growth is notable by any standard in any business, but particularly surprising in a medium whose potential for fragmentation, at least audience-wise, is seemingly limitless.

It means the majority of the sites on the Web are left fighting over the remaining 1 percent of online-ad revenue.

Marketspace Chairman Jeffrey Rayport presented the research to a gathering of online publishers in London in mid-March. For online publishers, he said it's a best of times/worst of times scenario, in which the medium is growing at a 30 percent clip, but "when you look under the hood to where the ad dollars are going, it's not such a beautiful thing."