A new forecast has predicted continuing growth for the search engine marketing sector.

According to Ernst & Young’s Media & Entertainment – By Numbers report, which examines how media companies will ride out the downturn, this year will see more marketers shift their budgets to performance-based marketing channels such as search – taking money away from non-performance-based strategies in the process.

Internet marketing as a whole is likely to outperform television advertising in 2009, with some formats doing better than others, Luca Mastrodonato, media analyst at Ernst & Young, suggested.

"This shift [to performance-based marketing] will cause a decrease in CPM (cost-per-thousand) rates for basic banners, which will impact publishers’ online revenues," he remarked.

Performance-based internet marketing has already gained considerable ground in the UK in the last few years, according to a recent report from Imran Khan, an analyst at JP Morgan.

The Nothing But Net forecast also pointed to search as a key area of ad spending for this year.

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