NEW YORK – US INTERNET advertising revenue climbed in the fourth quarter in spite of the poor economy, but the growth rate was sluggish compared to previous years, according to an analysis released on Monday.
The report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers said that revenue from online ads – which companies like Google and Yahoo heavily rely on – totaled US$6 billion (S$9 billion) in the last three months of 2008.
That marked an increase of US$154 million, or almost 3 per cent, from the same period in 2007.
Back then, Internet advertising was up 24 per cent over the previous year.
In the most recent quarter, revenue from search ads, which make up the largest segment of the online advertising market, rose 13 per cent to US$2.8 billion.
Revenue from graphical ‘display ads,’ the second-largest segment, fell 4 per cent to US$2 billion.
Sherrill Mane, senior vice president of industry services for the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade group, said any growth at all was a positive sign for an industry that is starting to mature while coping with the recession.
David Silverman, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, called the year-over-year growth ‘remarkable.’
‘It speaks to the fact that the vibrancy of the Internet is still there,’ he said.
For the full year, online ad revenue totaled US$23.4 billion – up US$2.2 billion, or a bit less than 11 per cent, from 2007.
Though still a small segment within the category, digital video ads – such as those you might see when watching a TV show on Hulu – were a bright spot, more than doubling in 2008 to US$734 million from US$324 million in 2007.
While that is still a small portion of the total, it rose from 8.6 per cent in 2007, while the money spent on newspaper and magazine ads declined over the same period. — AP