IAB Finds Ad Revenues up 7% in Q1

New figures out from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) show that Internet advertising revenues were up
by 7 percent to $1.7 billion in the first three months of 2003, the second
straight quarterly increase in two years.

Details about key drivers are expected in September when the IAB has more
complete data. But the early results suggest a continuation
of current trends that helped boost the second half of 2002, namely the hot
paid search market and the growth of rich media.

For now, at least, top line numbers the IAB has collected show two
straight quarters of rising online ad sales in a two year period. The first
quarter’s $1.692 billion in revenue was up by 7 percent from the fourth
quarter of 2002, and up by 11 percent compared with the first quarter of
last year, the IAB said.

The bureau said the first quarter figures in the Internet Ad Revenue
Report, which was conducted for the IAB by Price WaterhouseCoopers, were
estimated by surveying and compiling 2003 first-quarter data from the top 15
online ad sellers. They were then extrapolated to calculate the total
industry revenue figure.

“Advertisers follow the timeless creed of go where your consumers are,
and the interactive advertising market is no exception,” said Greg Stuart,
president and CEO of the IAB, in a statement. “Consumers are going online in
droves and the ad dollars are following closely behind.”

Tom Hyland, a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers and chair of the
accounting firm’s new media group, said the early results show that the
future for interactive advertising appears to be on strong footing and
poised for gradual and sustained growth.

“Many of the factors contributing to last quarters up-tick seem to have
held momentum, including improved data for advertisers to analyze as they
have now been engaged in the market for a longer period of time,” he said.

The survey collected data about online advertising from Web sites,
commercial online services, free e-mail providers, and all other companies
selling online advertising. The IAB said the first and third quarter revenue
reports are estimates, with the actual figures being released along with
second and forth quarter data.

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