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Q4 Online Ad Revenue Sets New Record

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NEW YORK Internet advertising revenue reached an estimated $2.2 billion in the fourth quarter, breaking the previous $2.1 billion record set three years earlier, according to a report released today.

The fourth-quarter figure is up 38 percent from the year-ago period. For full-year 2003, revenue rose 20 percent to an estimated $7.2 billion.

The estimates—based on aggregating data from the top 15 online ad sellers—are from the Interactive Advertising Bureau-sponsored Internet Revenue Report, conducted independently by the New Media Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"Based on sound business principles, the industry has grown up and become a great competitive advantage for those marketers who have been paying attention," IAB president and CEO Greg Stuart said in a statement. "Not exactly a secret weapon any longer, our medium continues to lead where others have fallen off, and smartest marketers know it, and are shifting dollars and getting share."

Tom Hyland, partner and chair at PwC's New Media Group, attributed the growth in part to increased broadband adoption and emerging ad formats, such as keyword search.