“Back in 2000, every entrepreneur who started a Web content company carried the same PowerPoint slide. It charted the astounding growth of U.S. online advertising, from next to nothing in 1995 to $6 billion in 1999. Then a dotted line shot up to the projection for 2005 — typically the $16.5 billion figure supplied by New York City-based Jupiter Communications. If a website could just attract visitors, the slide argued, advertising dollars would follow.
Venture capitalists and big portals bought in, placing sky-high valuations on sites that promised large audiences. Of course, the market for traffic dried up as online advertising slumped from $8.2 billion in 2001 to $6 billion in 2002. But here’s the kicker: Web content deals are on the rise again, and Internet ad spending should reach $12 billion this year, meaning Jupiter’s once-ridiculed forecast wasn’t far off the mark.
— Om Malik,’The Return of Monetized Eyeballs’, Business 2.0