Developing Web traffic across Europe will tend to favour a few top portals at the expense of the rest, according to a new report from Forrester Research.
But even the winning portals will lose their relevance to marketers as specialist sites, marketing services providers, and new platforms compete for the same budget, the report predicts.
“In Europe, a mix of US invaders such as AOL and Yahoo, plus national telco-linked portals like Terra will win the portal shake-out,” says Forrester analyst Hellen Omwando. “The next ten portals by traffic, such as World Online and AltaVista, will fight for top spots but will suffer from undifferentiated offerings and their lack of first-mover advantage.”
European markets such as France and Germany are already moving towards the current situation in the UK, where the top three portals grab 14 per cent of traffic – nearly three times the next ten portals combined – and 39 per cent of online ad revenue.
European winners such as AOL will benefit strongly from their increased dominance, while Yahoo’s household name and partnership network should ensure its success. But only three of the dominant national portals backed by deep-pocketed telecoms companies will triumph on a Pan-European level.