Online ad market in U.S. grows in Q1

Online advertising spending grew 7.5% in the U.S. in the first quarter, a clear sign that the digital media industry is recovering from a rough 2009, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Revenue hit $5.9 billion, the highest-ever total for a first quarter, as an improving economy fosters confidence among companies and results in increased marketing spending in areas like online advertising.

While a level of uncertainty still hovers over the recovery process, it's encouraging to kick off 2010 with a strong quarter, the IAB said in a statement Thursday.

This wasn't the case in 2009, when U.S. online ad spending shrunk 5% to $5.5 billion in the first quarter, year on year. That was the first year-on-year quarterly drop since 2002 and broke a string of 24 consecutive year-on-year quarterly increases. For the entire 2009, spending ended up dropping 3.4% compared with 2008.

Separately, comScore reported on Thursday that impressions of display ads rose 15% in the first quarter, year on year, to a record $1.1 trillion. Spending on this ad format totaled $2.7 billion, or $2.48 per thousand impressions (CPM), comScore said.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
Shop Tech Products at Amazon