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Report: Web Ad Revenues Grew to $1.5 Billion in 1998

American businesses spent an estimated $1.5 billion on Internet advertising in 1998, an increase of 231 percent from the previous year, according to a new report from eMarketer.

According to the report, online ad spending will grow to $2.6 billion, an increase of 73 percent, by year-end 1999 and rise to $8.9 billion in 2002. The Internet Advertising Bureau has estimated 1998 ad spending at closer to $2 billion and said that expenditures were $491 million in the third quarter alone.

The eAdvertising Report, published by eMarketer, and presented by Advertising Age, "contains statistical information aggregated from a wide range of authoritative research sources," the company said.

The report also says that while there have been relatively large year-to-year increases in 1997 and 1998, the rate of online ad growth will slow over the next few years as the industry stabilizes and advertisers and their agencies continue to deal with critical issues such as measurement, standards and ROI.

"Online advertising spending will continue to grow at a robust rate through 2002," said Geoffrey Ramsey at eMarketer. "We expect online advertising to continue to offer exciting opportunities and new developments in techniques and delivery that will truly differentiate it from traditional advertising vehicles."

The eAdvertising Report, consisting of 102 pages and containing 145 charts, is available for $795. New York City-based eMarketer aggregates, filters, organizes and analyzes Web statistics.