Online advertising agencies enjoyed a bumper start to 2014 with revenues hitting a record first quarter high of $11.6 billion.
The rocketing rise of digital
The sterling efforts of all those hardworking copywriters, art directors and account managers appear to have paid off handsomely this year, according to new figures prepared for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) by PricewaterhouseCoopers US. The $11.9 million total represents a hike of 19 percent on the same time last year (which, at $9.6 billion, was itself a record-breaking zenith).
IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg said:
“Interactive advertising is seeing remarkable gains. Digital screens are a critical part of the marketing mix and these landmark figures speak to that irrefutable fact.”
The IAB’s Senior VP of Research, Analytics and Measurement, Sherrill Mane, concurred, stating:
“These Q1 revenue levels speak to digital’s unique ability to identify the most relevant audience segments and deliver powerful results.”
Those copywriters, art directors and account managers we just mentioned who have kept abreast of these developments can rightly congratulate themselves. PwC US partner, David Silverman, described the scale of the shift to digital:
“With consumers increasingly relying on digital screens for everything from information to entertainment, numbers like these should come as no surprise. Interactive clearly offers a unique proposition for marketers and agencies – an opportunity they are embracing and will likely rely on more in the future.”
Brands take note: this is no blip
The first quarter figures, clearly, are no mere ‘freak peak’: another IAB/PwC US report published this April showed that internet advertising revenues totaled $42.8 billion last year, representing a hike of 17 percent on 2012’s total. In so doing, it superseded the $40.1 billion generated by broadcast TV advertising.
The astute account manager will, however, appreciate that total TV advertising still remains way out in front: when spot, cable, network and syndication TV advertising dollars are all added together, the overall total comes out as $66 billion. But the growth in digital advertising remains spectacular: between 2012 and 2013, for example, total mobile advertising revenues leapfrogged by 110 percent to hit $7.1 billion.
As Sherrill mane put it, brands can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines: if they want to grow, they have to put their money into digital media, or that money will increasingly be wasted.