Here’s a statistic to put a chill the heart of any online content or web app business looking to ride the wave of consumer advertising shifting online (via AdAge):

Corporate and brand websites — once derided as “brochureware” in a digital marketing world that quickly moved to sexier applications — are getting a rehabilitation of sorts as their traffic numbers vie with those of many consumer sites in the web’s long tail.

Such package-goods marketers as Procter & Gamble Co. and Unilever don’t sell many products directly online. Their low-cost, low-involvement brands tend not to generate much search. Yet the websites of P&G and Unilever now reach nearly 6 million and 3 million unique visitors, respectively, in the U.S. each month, according to ComScore Media Metrix.

While P&G sites captured only 3.3% of ComScore’s U.S. web audience in October, that’s more than double its industry-leading 1.3% share of U.S. ad spending last year and nine times its share of online ad spending, according to TNS Media Intelligence. The monthly web audiences for P&G and Unilever brands now easily swamp the audiences of many magazines and cable and syndicated TV shows where they advertise. [Emphasis mine]

Maybe P&G and Unilver should start offering media brands and Web 2.0 companies an opportunity to advertise on their sites. Imagine how many real people new web apps could reach by advertising on P&G vs. advertising on sites that only reach early adopters.