IAB Touts Record-Breaking Quarter

Internet advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2004 came in at $2.7 billion while full-year revenue totaled just under $9.6 billion — a 32 percent increase over 2003’s total. That’s according to estimates released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The fourth quarter figure is the highest revenue quarter ever reported by the IAB, said Greg Stuart, president and chief executive of the organization.

“The estimates report the fifth consecutive quarter of record-breaking revenues,” Stuart said. “It indicates that things are going very well. Search is strong but the branding side of the business is strong as well, and interactive clearly is drawing share from other media.”

The IAB didn’t break out spending by category, media type or creative type in the report released today.

The fourth quarter figure translates to a 24 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2003, which totaled $2.2 billion, and a 17 percent increase over the third quarter of 2004 ($2.3 billion). In November 2004, the IAB announced a third quarter 2004 estimate of $2.4 billion, which has since been revised.

The third and fourth quarter online ad revenue figures were estimated by surveying and aggregating fourth quarter 2004 data from the top 15 online ad sellers. The results were then extrapolated to calculate the total estimated industry revenue figure.

Actual third and fourth quarter 2004 results will be reported in the full Internet Advertising Revenue Report, which is slated for release in spring 2005. The IAB sponsors the report, which is conducted independently by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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