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Internet ad revenues surge

News, 12 June 2015

NEW YORK: US internet advertising continues to break new records as the latest quarterly figures from the IAB show it running at $13.3bn in the first three months of 2015.

The IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, produced by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and consulting firm PwC from data supplied by companies selling advertising on the internet, indicated that internet ad revenues in Q1 2015 were 16% up on the Q1 2014 total of $11.4bn, which at the time was a record for the first quarter.

"Digital screens are an indisputable part of consumers' lives," said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. "In turn, interactive is taking on an even more vital role in today's marketing mix – and these historic figures confirm its growing importance."

David Silverman, a partner at PwC US, said the rise was "the direct result of brand and media agencies' increasing commitment to digital marketing,"

He added that it was now clear that "interactive has become an imperative in reaching key demographics with tailored messaging and creative".

This growth comes against a background of growing discontent with the industry and the increased use of ad blocking software. TechCrunch reported that the number of internet users deploying ad blocking software had "skyrocketed" over the past three years, from 40m to 200m. 


And when Larry Page, Google CEO, was asked about the issue at a recent shareholder meeting, he gave a sanguine response: "Part of it is the industry needs to do better at producing ads that are less annoying".

TechCrunch also noted that ad spend per person in the US worked out at just over $14 a month. "In other words, we could replace the entire advertising industry with a 10–20% bump on our internet subscription fees either on our cable or cell service bill".

Warc's Consensus Ad Forecast, a weighted average of adspend predictions from various sources, expects growth of 15.4% in digital ad revenue this year. More detailed analysis of the US market will be available in Warc's International Ad Forecast, released later this month.

Data sourced from IAB, TechCrunch, The Drum; additional content by Warc staff