U.S. Internet advertising surged 34 percent last year, reaching a record high, as companies moved more spending on marketing and promotion into new media, according to data released on Wednesday.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers surveyed leading companies that sell advertising space online, including Yahoo Inc. and Google Inc., which are attracting more money from marketers hoping to reach consumers who are spending more of their media time on the Internet.
“Results for 2006 confirm a very healthy environment for online advertising,” David Silverman, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said in a statement. “All signs point to a steady increase in the level of spend by traditional advertisers that are using online advertising as an important part of their media mix.”
The IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers have tracked online ad spending since 1996. They provide a more detailed breakdown twice yearly, with the next one due in April.
But preliminary results showed that revenues for 2006 rose to an estimate $16.8 billion from $12.5 billion in 2005.
Fourth-quarter 2006 revenues totaled about $4.8 billion, making it the highest quarter reported, and a 32 percent increase over the same period in 2005, the report said.
Peter Petrusky, a director with PricewaterhouseCoopers, said the rise in spending signals a recognition by traditional marketers that Internet advertising is effectively reaching consumers.
“The maturation of the Internet as an effective advertising medium is directly tied to its ability to deliver qualified audiences to marketers,” Petrusky said in a statement.
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