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Q1 2013 sees record-breaking revenues from internet advertising

Busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers toil­ing in the online adver­tis­ing indus­try should be break­ing open the cham­pagne today, as new fig­ures from the IAB and Price­Wa­ter­house­C­oop­ers (PwC) reveal a spec­tac­u­lar year-on-year rise in U.S. dig­i­tal ad rev­enue for the first quar­ter of 2013.

A new landmark

No less than $9.6 bil­lion was gen­er­at­ed in Q1 this year, rep­re­sent­ing a remark­able surge of 15.6 per cent on the $8.3 bil­lion chalked up at the same time last year. IAB’s Senior Vice Pres­i­dent of Research, Sher­rill Maine, brought music to the job­bing busi­ness devel­op­ment manager’s ear by describ­ing the surge as a “mile­stone”. She attrib­uted the accom­plish­ment to the grow­ing aware­ness amongst mar­keters that dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing has become “a crit­i­cal part of all mar­ket­ing in today’s world.”

The growth exceeds the opti­mistic fore­cast made in a recent report from ZenithOp­ti­me­dia, which pro­ject­ed online ad spend­ing would expand by 14 per cent per year through 2015. In that report, which was pub­lished in April, ZenithOptimedia’s Head of Fore­cast­ing, Jonathan Bernard, wrote:

“Dis­play is the fastest-grow­ing sub­cat­e­go­ry, with 20% annu­al growth, thanks part­ly to the rapid rise of online video and social media adver­tis­ing, each of which are grow­ing at about 30% a year.”

Bernard also believes that agen­cies and mar­keters are being encour­aged to spend more on online and mobile adver­tis­ing by improved audi­ence mea­sure­ment data.

Dig­i­tal rocks

Com­ment­ing on the lat­est fig­ures, the IAB’s CEO and Pres­i­dent, Ran­dall Rothen­berg, said:

“Con­sumers are turn­ing to inter­ac­tive media in droves to look for the lat­est infor­ma­tion, to con­nect with their social net­works, and sim­ply to be enter­tained. This first quar­ter mile­stone clear­ly illus­trates that mar­keters rec­og­nize that dig­i­tal has become the go-to medi­um for all sorts of activ­i­ties on all sorts of screens, at home, at the office and on-the-run.”

David Sil­ver­man, a Part­ner at PwC U.S. agreed, describ­ing the record-set­ting Q1 fig­ures as a con­fir­ma­tion of the ongo­ing shift to dig­i­tal, as reflect­ed in this most impres­sive year-on-year growth in the inter­net adver­tis­ing industry.

Research for the IAB’s twice-year­ly Inter­net Adver­tis­ing Rev­enue Report is con­duct­ed inde­pen­dent­ly by PwC’s New Media Group, and is wide­ly con­sid­ered in the indus­try to be the most accu­rate mea­sure of inter­ac­tive adver­tis­ing revenues.

One thing’s for sure: a lot of hard­work­ing busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers and adver­tis­ing sales man­agers deserve a hearty round of applause.

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