It was only a matter of time.
In a landmark milestone of multi-channel media marketing, the word is out that advertising revenue at Google Towers has surpassed that of UK conventional terrestrial TV network provider, Channel 4.
With a staggering $1.6 billion in advertising revenues for 2006 (that's about £800 million) analysts now expect ITV to fall next, probably in early 2008.
Google's third quarter revenues topped over £390 million, despite an all-share acquisition of YouTube earlier this summer, which receives over 72 million hits a month to view its online video content.
The move away from conventional advertising media has been predicted for some considerable time, but as the wickets fall in reality, it comes as one of those seminal moments when we all stand for a moment to take stock and to realise that we are now in unchartered territory.
Many of the former newspaper media titles have ditched subscription-based services in favour of online advertising instruments, and, whilst some premium-content organs retain subscription for key areas, most of the attention is turning to where eyeballs are gazing - and that's no longer the 42" plasma or LCD picture frame device in the corner. That, it would seem, is being used for watching DVD movies and as a big screen add-on to the desktop or laptop monitoring device.
So, it makes rational sense that if eyeballs are averting from Big Brother reality TV and Countdown to Google, eBay, Amazon and the rest of interactive online virtual reality, that the advertising and marketing worlds should surely follow.
No rocket science there, in that respect. But what is odd, is the time it has taken for TV execs to wake up and smell the latté - they've been in virtual business denial for nigh on a decade and it comes as some surprise that they haven't made their moves a long time ago.
Paul Quigley, Internet World [article shortened]