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Simeon Simeonov points to some data from a Comscore survey talking about the effectiveness of advertising in UGC sites vs general media sites by advertising category for the coveted 18-34 year old demographic:

Effectiveness of advertising by category for UGC vs general media sites

It suggests that this demographic is more receptive to advertising on UGC sites in “high fun” categories such as music, movies, food, apparel and entertainment than it is to advertising on general media sites. For “high expenditure” items (travel, autos, etc) their responsiveness is about equivalent between UGC and general media sites, but for “high trust” items (healthcare, financial services) they prefer general media.

Its interesting to compare these categories to where advertising dollars are being spent. I’ve pulled this data from an old Deutsche Bank analyst report initiating coverage on Primedia; they sourced Ad Age 100 data from 2003 so its a little dated but probably directionally correct:

ad spending by category

Movies/Music/Entertainment features prominently in both charts. Hopefully this bodes well for our portfolio company Flixster!

More generally, note the categories where there is both a lot of advertising and a lot of consumer passion. Its these areas where explosive growth of user generated content and social media can combine with an online media model that works. When you overlay the criteria of reasonable receptiveness of the audience to advertising within social media channels, it suggests that other than in movies/music/entertainment, other categories with potential include apparel (we’re an investor in Stylehive), food/beverage, travel and auto. I would be interested to hear from social media companies with meaningful traction in any of these categories.