Revenue from online advertising spiked to a new high in the first quarter of 2011, according to data released today by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Internet ads for the quarter brought in $7.3 billion, a 23% increase over the first quarter last year. The figure is a slight drop from the fourth quarter of 2011, which saw $7.45 billion in online ads. Still, the rise over Q1 2010 highlights the return of digital ad spending after the recession, as well as the continued shift of ad dollars from print media to the Internet.
Last year was already a record year for digital advertising, though market observers agree that digital spend has yet to cannibalize the $70 billion-plus TV ad market. In 2010, $26 billion was spent on Internet advertising. Search remains the most popular area for marketers, but sponsorships grew 88% last year, and display grew 24%.
“These numbers indicate that the interactive advertising field hasn’t simply bounced back since the recession; it’s growing with dynamic energy,” says David Silverman, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
IAB’s survey, compiled directly from companies, takes into account revenues from websites, commercial online services, free e-mail providers, and all other companies selling online advertising.