I wanted to share with you that Nielsen//NetRatings just issued this very interesting press release on 08/10, stating that "user-generated content sites (platforms for photo sharing, video sharing and blogging) drives half of U.S. Top 10 fastest growing brands". The basis for Nielsen to rank them is based on the unique audience growth Year-over-Year. The lucky winners are ImageShack, Heavy.com, Flickr, MySpace, and Wikipedia.
Of course it means a lot in terms of eye balls but also in terms of stickiness - read the press release for details about average spent time per person.
The consequences for us marketers is first and foremost an additional evidence that Marketing 2.0 is on its way big time. But it also has a huge impact on our decision about our budget spend. eMarketer.com forecasts that US Online Social Network Ad Spending will surge from $280M in 2006 to $1,860M in 2010. When we know that online advertising represents an average of 26% of our total marketing spend, it also implies massive changes in our marketing mix in the future.
Finally, we should realize that none of these Web 2.0 brands existed a few months ago and they now challenge solid incumbents. Remain to be seen how they will monetize these extremely rapid growing audiences. But didn't we have similar questions about a rising star: Google?