April 14th, 2011
2010 a Banner Year for Online Ads
The online advertising market roared back to life in 2010, setting a slew of records including the largest revenue year ever recorded and biggest quarter in the medium’s history, according to new figures released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
But those figures also revealed some cracks in the Internet’s growing strength as an ad medium; brand advertising still lags behind direct response advertising on the Web. And while spending on display advertising has increased sharply, pricing has not.
Overall, 2010 was a banner year for the Web. Ad revenue soared by 15 percent to a record $26 billion during a period when most other media saw single-digit growth.
The second half of the year was even more impressive, as revenue climbed 18 percent to $13.9 billion, also a record. And the fourth quarter was particularly monstrous, as ad spending exceeded $7 billion for the first time ($7.5 billion).
Those numbers, and the fact that the past five quarters have exhibited year-over-year increases, provide “further evidence for why I think we’re out of the woods,” said Sherrill Mane of the IAB’s industry services group. “The market is even healthier looking than the recovery that happened in 2003.”
Digging inside the strong overall online ad numbers, certain sectors stand out. Digital video advertising remains hot, as spending surged 40 percent in 2010.