Online Ad Spend Nears $4B in Q1

Online ad revenues soared to a record $3.9 billion last quarter, according to a report released jointly by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the New Media Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The spending figure marks a 38 percent increase over the year-ago period and a 6 percent rise over the fourth quarter of 2005, when spending reached an estimated $3.6 billion.

The report did not discuss ad spending by category, since those figures are broken out only every half year. However, IAB CEO Greg Stuart said rich media and video are pushing some of the growth.

“You basically had growth in classifieds, search and display. With video you’ve got four cylinders for growth,” he said. “Broadband video is getting to a point now where it’s starting to impact the numbers.”

Earlier this month the IAB finalized its broadband video ad standards.

The IAB/PwC report presents data from all companies with “meaningful” online ad revenue, including Web sites, search engines, email providers and commercial Web services.

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