Internet Ad Spend to Surpass $16 Bil.

NEW YORK Internet ad spending is poised to surpass $16 billion this year with further growth forecast in the near term, according to research company eMarketer here.

The firm anticipates Internet ad spending in 2006 will rise nearly 6 percent to $16.4 billion compared to last year.

The Internet’s increasing popularity is fueling the surge at the expense of traditional media such as TV, radio and newspapers, which of late have experienced negligible growth or declines, per eMarketer.

Internet ad spending should continue its impressive growth trajectory in the near future, rising nearly 19 percent versus 1.4 percent for all media in 2007, per eMarketer. Web ad spending is projected to increase 22 percent versus 3 percent for all media in 2008.

There’s plenty of room for growth because marketers still spend only a small proportion of their media budgets online. This year, about 6 percent of all ad spending will go to the Web; that figure should rise to 8 percent by 2008, surpassing radio’s market share, the firm said.

“It’s one thing for Internet ad spending to surpass relatively minor media such as outdoor or Yellow Pages, but it’s quite another thing to blow past radio, one of the big four traditional media,” eMarketer analyst David Hallerman said, in a statement.

The estimates do not include funds advertisers are moving into other digital and related initiatives such as branded sites and viral campaigns.