First-half Online Ad Spending Soars

Internet ad revenue rose nearly 40 percent to $4.6 billion in the first half of 2004 compared to the year-ago period, according to a report released last week. In the second quarter, online ad revenue was $2.37 billion, up almost 43 percent from $1.66 billion during the same period last year and up 6 percent from $2.23 billion in the first quarter. The figures are from the Internet Revenue Report, sponsored by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and conducted independently by the New Media Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Search advertising contributed significantly to the growth, representing 40 percent of total online ad revenue for Q2. That translates to $947 million, a 97 percent rise from $481 million in Q2 2003. Rich media accounted for 8 percent, or $189 million, of overall Web ad revenue in Q2 2004.