IAB & PWC announced today the results of their Romanian Online Advertising Study (ROADS) for 2007 and the first half of 2008. If in 2007, the total amount of online advertising investments was around 42.6 mil RON (without VAT), the results of the first half of 2008 amounted to 33.87 mil RON (without VAT). These sums were calculated based on the reports of the first eleven most important players on the online advertising market.
For the first time, the ROADS study claims to have exact numbers coming directly from the biggest players on the market and not estimations as it was in the previous years. However, even though at the beginning of 2009 IAB & PWC promise us to have the exact numbers for 2008, this will not stop the online professionals to make then another set of estimations related to the size of the online advertising market in 2009. In any case, having the exact numbers is a step forward towards making this market more transparent and this is, in itself, a positive thing.
Since we are approaching the end of 2008, we cannot help but wonder if the second half of 2008 will perform in a similar way as the first half, thus summing up around 30 mil RON investments in online advertising in Romania. However, taking into account the fact that the global financial crisis has started to seriously impact Romania in the second half of 2008, we should probably be more conservative with these predictions and hope that the total investment in online advertising in Romania will reach somewhere around 50 mil RON at the end of 2008. If this will be true, then the moderate predictions from the end of 2007 or beginning of 2008 (that estimated the 2008 online advertising market size around 15 mil Euro) might prove themselves to be correct.
**Update: **Doru is more optimistic than I am and takes into account the unseen side of the iceberg as well. If his estimations are true, we might have more than 20 mil Euro online advertising market size in Romania in 2008. We’ll see about it in 2009, when IAB & PWC will publish their full figures for 2008.