US online advertising revenues hit a record high in the first half of 2005.

Preliminary figures released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers show total revenue climbed 26% to $5.8 billion (€4.82bn; £3.28bn), compared with $4.6bn for the same period last year.

The report says search ads comprised 40% of revenues, the same share as last year, but revenue totals for search jumped 27% to £2.3bn.

Says PwC partner David Silverman: "The consistent growth in overall revenue shows that marketers may be shifting more of their total advertising budgets to online."

Adds William Makower, ceo of cyber agency Panlogic: "The popularity of online advertising is tied to the increase in the number of people installing broadband internet connections."

However, online advertising still represents only a small proportion of the total advertising market in the US, which hit $7.05bn in H1, according to researcher TNS Media Intelligence [WAMN: 08-Sept-05].

Data sourced from AdWeek (USA); additional content by WARC staff