Don Marti

Fri 31 May 2013 07:02:38 AM PDT

Internet trend: unexplained value of print ads

Making the rounds: Internet Trends 2013 by Mary Meeker and Liang Wu at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Yes, I always jump to the slide about ad spending in each medium compared to time that people spend with that medium.

2012 was a big year for adtech, so the share of people's time and advertisers's budgets that print pulls in should be steadily declining, right?

The December 2011 numbers in the 2012 version have print at 7% of time spent and 25% of ad spending. For December 2012, print has 6% of the time and 23% of the money.

So print's time is down by 14% and money is down by 8%.

There's no correction toward digital. Print continues to command an unreasonably large share of advertising budgets. Spending is down, but proportionally not as much as time.

With the trendiness and bubblyness of digital, we'd expect it to go the other way.

Something deeper than click fraud is going on here. Print is inherently more valuable because it's less trackable, and carries a better signal, and we keep seeing that in these Internet Trends reports.

More: Can privacy tech save advertising?

photo: Kate Ter Haar