All eyes are on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Zynga. Clearly it's the right time to start a website. The Internet publishing industry is expected to hit $72 billion in five years.
By the Numbers
17.1%: Annual profit margin, according to IBISWorld
49,717: Projected number of enterprises in the United States in 2012, according to IBISWorld
61,715: Number of enterprises expected to exist in 2017, according to IBISWorld
150,422: Number of people expected to be employed in the field in 2017, according to IBISWorld
16.2%: Projected annual revenue increase from 2012 through 2017, according to IBISWorld
Why It's Hot
More people than ever before go online for information and entertainment. Every day, almost half of all adult Internet users read web publications, and nearly a third watch Web videos, says Pew Research. Advertisers have taken notice. A recent study by eMarketer, which tracks the industry, projects that online ad spending will hit close to $40 billion this year, surpassing print ad dollars for the first time.
Industry-wide revenue (mostly from ads) for Internet publishers is projected to almost double in the next five years to almost $72 billion. The number of employees in the field is expected to grow to 150,422 by 2017, up from 127,880 this year.
Barriers to Entry
As technology costs have dropped, it's pretty cheap to start and grow a website, and the typical company in the sector has only two or three employees. That said, ad revenue is highly dependent on Web traffic, and many players means tough competition.
Online video. Advertisers particularly like sites like Hulu that require users to check out commercials as they watch content, notes Brian Bueno, who follows Internet publishers for IBISWorld.