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Internet advertising revenues climb to $17 billion

Data from the Inter­ac­tive Adver­tis­ing Bureau shows that online adver­tis­ing sales rev­enue for the first half of 2012 surged by 14 per­cent, achiev­ing a record-break­ing high­point of $17 billion.

The growth, which occurs in the con­text of ini­tia­tives to improve com­mu­ni­ca­tions between ad agen­cies and star­tups, is encour­ag­ing news for the job­bing inter­net adver­tis­ing sales man­ag­er and search engine mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ist.  It also hap­pens to be good news for just about every­one else, too, because it’s inter­net adver­tis­ing that keeps the web free of charge.  IAB Vice Pres­i­dent Sher­rill Maine wel­comed the dou­ble-dig­it growth as “a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment”, adding, “There is evi­dence that CPMs are main­tain­ing, and even increas­ing, fur­ther sub­stan­ti­at­ing the vital­i­ty of the inter­net ad market.”

Mobile adver­tis­ing takes Olympian stride 

Dig­i­tal video ad rev­enue was also on the rise over the same peri­od, climb­ing by 18 per­cent to $1 bil­lion, while search rev­enues leaped by 19 per­cent dur­ing Q1 alone to reach $8.1 billion.

More mod­est­ly, dis­play ad rev­enue rose by 4 per­cent, just tip­ping the scales at $5.6 billion.

How­ev­er, if these rates evoke metaphors like “leap­ing” and “surg­ing”, the hike in mobile ad rev­enue was pos­i­tive­ly Olympian, vir­tu­al­ly dou­bling to a grand total of $1.2 bil­lion.  That’s a small total fig­ure com­pared to its old­er rel­a­tives, but it rep­re­sents a spec­tac­u­lar 95 per­cent increase, sig­nal­ing that mobile site and app mod­els that rely on adver­tis­ing are real­ly com­ing into their own.

A com­par­i­son with dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing may be illu­mi­nat­ing here.  In its ear­ly days between 1996 and 2000, dig­i­tal ad rev­enue made triple-dig­it annu­al growth fig­ures, rang­ing between 110 per­cent and 320 per­cent.  If mobile adver­tis­ing fol­lows the same pat­tern, there’s mas­sive scope for growth – a prospect not lost on the Asso­ci­a­tion of Online Pub­lish­ing, which recent­ly drew atten­tion to the immense untapped poten­tial in the mobile mar­ket­place.

Which ad models?

The IAB data also includes some inter­est­ing trends con­cern­ing dif­fer­ent pub­lish­er rev­enue mod­els. Pay-per-click and oth­er per­for­mance based ads grew three points between 2011 and 2012 from 64 per­cent to 67 per­cent, while ban­ner ad rev­enues and relat­ed impres­sion based adver­tis­ing held steady at 31 per­cent.  Hybrid mod­els fared less well, shrink­ing by 2 percent.

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