Online ad spending: How about the data?

Mediapost and others have a story today that the notoriously optimistic JupiterResearch says that online ad spending will surpass magazines by 2008.
The story says “According to the new Jupiter Research forecast, set to be unveiled this morning at the Jupiter Media Advertising Forum, marketers will spend $8.4 billion on online advertising this year, growing a massive 45 percent over the next three years to $13.8 billion by 2007, and then $15 billion by 2008. Magazine spending will rise at a more modest rate, from $12.2 billion in 2004 to $13.8 billion in 2007, and finally $14.5 billion in 2008.”
While it is a fact that magazine ad revenues are–and have been–under attack, a little voice of reason says that Jupiter’s prediction needs to be qualified–BIGTIME.
Most online sites don’t (yet) have the data–and the tools–to provide the precise targeting and customer data that magazine publishers can deliver.
As we all know, the heart of most magazine companies is the list. This is the qualified customer list, replete with name, address and the right to mail to them.
This list is one of the reasons magazines can provide highly credible data about who is reading them–ie who is looking at the ads in their pages. Big magazine companies can cross-tab their lists, meaning they know what percentage of people in a certain area(ie a certain income bracket and psychographic framework)read, say, two of their publications.
In addition magazine companies, working with Simmons, audit their circulation. They also do fairly extensive surveying of their sub list (ie How many of you Vogue readers own a gas BBQ grill? How likely are you to buy on this coming year? and so on.)
So, the point is that for online advertising to surpass print, IMHO, digital publishers will need to provide equally good demographic data to establish the ROI. Given the complete lack of registration on most web sites, acquiring that data has a way to go–but once that challenge is met,one of the strongest competitive points to advertiser in magazines will give way–and then, buyt only then, maybe Jupiter will be right.
(Bonus question for digital media folks: Do you have access to the kind of information today that would make you a competitive buy for a magazine advertiser–or will those dollars go to AOL, Tickle, and MSN ?