Study: Despite Recession, Online Ad Sector Grows

NEW YORK The days of continuous record-setting quarters appear over for now, but online advertising is still growing steadily in the face of a rough economic environment, based on the latest figures released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Online ad spending approached $5.9 billion during the third quarter, an increase of 11 percent over the same frame in 2007 and up 2 percent versus Q2 of this year. According to the IAB, the $5.9 billion figure represents the second-best quarter ever for the industry.

And though it’s likely that the deepening ad recession has yet to be reflected in these figures, it appears the Web has been weathering the challenging climate better than other media — at least so far.

Through the first nine months of this year, online ad spending reached  $17.3 billion, a solid 14 percent increase from the $15.2 billion in revenue recorded during the same stretch in ’07, according to the IAB and PwC.

“A weakening economy will continue to be a challenge to all forms of advertising-supported media,” observed PwC partner David Silverman. “However, the Internet should be better poised to withstand the storm given its ability to combine performance-based advertising along with broad-based branding.”