Use of the internet will skyrocket among Britons this year, driving ad revenues up by 100%. So envisions I-level a London media independent specialising in online advertising.

Although predictions by those with much to gain from talking-up a market should be taken with a fistful of salt (ask Jack Grubman’s former fans), I-level could be right given the rise and rise of home-PC penetration.

The agency predicts that by the end of 2003, internet viewing will have grown from 6% to 8% of all UK media consumption. But as the shop points out, these numbers don’t square-up with the medium’s present share of total ad revenues – a miserly one per cent.

[However, equilibrium between consumption and revenues is likely to remain elusive until it can be shown that the former attains levels of attention comparable to other media.]

The agency also cites the growing popularity of broadband as the main driver of the surge in web consumption. This in turn will contribute to an estimated 46% increase in online ad revenue by the end of 2003.

According to telecoms regulator Oftel, 11.5 million households – forty-seven per cent of all UK homes – are currently connected to the web, although only a million or so link via broadband. I-level predicts that this number will increase to 2.7m by the end of 2003, an increase of twenty per cent.

Data sourced from: Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff