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Q1 Online Ad Revenue Sets Record

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NEW YORK Online advertising's hot streak continues, as the industry started off this year by setting yet another quarterly revenue record.

During the first quarter of 2007, Internet ad revenue hit $4.9 billion, up slightly from the previous record of $4.8 billion set in the fourth quarter of last year.

The Q1 2007 figure represented a 26 percent increase compared to the same quarter last year, according to data released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCooper.

Just a few weeks ago, the two partner organizations disclosed final revenue figures for 2006 that highlighted the growing strength of the online ad market, as revenue surged 35 percent, totaling $16.9 billion for the year.

Officials at both firms predicted that these spending trends would continue, particularly as broadband connections become more pervasive and advertisers continue to gravitate to more dynamic Web ad formats.

"The recent results are particularly impressive when the size of the advertising revenue base is taken into account," said Peter Petrusky, director, PwC.

"Given these results, we may expect continued strong revenue growth buoyed by an expanding broadband subscriber base, which could translate into more users spending more time online and offers a platform for rich media and video ads that dial-up connections can't render," he said.