Study: Internet Advertising Sets New Record

Internet advertising revenues rose to an all-time quarterly high of nearly $2.3 billion in the first quarter of 2004, according to research estimates from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

That’s the highest quarterly total since the two began tracking revenues in 1996, marking a pronounced recovery from the dot-com doldrums. The previous record was set in the fourth quarter of 2003. Before that, interactive ad revenues hadn’t seen such heights since 2000.

First quarter estimates represent a 3.9 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2003, an especially significant jump due to the holiday spending typically associated with the fourth quarter. The first quarter estimates also showed a 39.8 percent increase over the $1.6 billion brought in during the first quarter of 2003.

“All through 2003 we published positive revenue results for Internet advertising and the trend continued through the first quarter of 2004,” said Tom Hyland, partner and chair of the New Media Group at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The researchers estimated the revenue figures by surveying the top 15 online ad sellers and extrapolating to calculate the total industry revenue figure. The IAB and PwC typically release estimated top-line figures in the first and third quarters. They then provide actual figures with additional detail in the second and fourth quarters. Actual first quarter revenues are expected to be released in July, 2004.

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