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.
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.