Online Advertising Sets Records On The Rebound

A trillion. The number is hard to get your mind around, but it appears that’s the latest diet of online advertising that the Internet audience is being exposed to.

According to numbers released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers, the first quarter of 2010 was a healthy one for online ads. IAB reports that 2010 had the best first quarter ever, as web ad revenues hit $5.9 billion, up 7.5 percent over the first quarter of 2009.

ComScore presents the really big number in terms of how vast online advertising’s reach has grown, reporting that there were 1.1 trillion ads presented to web users in the first quarter of 2010. Jeff Hackett, Senior Vice President comScore, said:

“Following a severe ad recession that began in late 2008 and continued through the first three quarters of 2009, we’ve been seeing a strong resurgence in the online display ad market. The first quarter of 2010 posted strong volume in online display ads, coinciding with increasing expenditure from advertisers and higher CPMs for publishers. This pickup in activity should bode well for the online advertising industry as we move forward in 2010.”

The biggest publisher for display ads is Facebook, which now owns a 16.2 percent market share of the ad delivery game. Yahoo, Microsoft, Fox Interactive and Google all trail Facebook. A clear sign in Facebook’s ever increasing dominance.

Top 10 U.S. Online Display Ad* Publishers
Q1 2010
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Ad Metrix
Total Display Ad Impressions (MM) Share of Display Ad Impressions
Total Internet 1,089,732 100.0% 176,307 16.2%
Yahoo! Sites 131,555 12.1%
Microsoft Sites 60,187 5.5%
Fox Interactive Media 53,823 4.9%
AOL LLC 32,100 2.9%
Google Sites 25,852 2.4%
Turner Network 15,685 1.4%
Glam Media 7,819 0.7%
eBay 7,483 0.7% 6,804 0.6%

*Display ads include static and rich media ads; excludes video ads, house ads and very small ads (< 2,500 pixels in dimension)

Both reports are seen as indicators of economic recovery as investment in online increases quickly over other advertising channels. David Hallerman, Senior Analyst eMarketer, told

“Overall, the U.S. economy is recovering a bit sooner than last year’s data led us to believe. For example, not only did the GDP increase by 3.2% in Q1 2010, but there was a corresponding 3.6% gain in personal consumption expenditures. And greater consumer activity is one of the prime motivators for greater advertising spending.”

Facebook could be more and more of an engine for this growth, as the social networking site gets more savvy about leveraging its users content to generate targeted advertising for its users. The next step in the overall growth of tech-based advertising is how all of these platforms – Facebook, Yahoo, Google and others move into the home theater, mobile, and local markets.

As consumers increasingly adopt new technology advertisers will have more inventory. From mobile to streaming video every screen a consumer sees is an opportunity for an impression and that will cause that trillion number to be surpassed very quickly.

About Mike Koehler

Mike Koehler is the New Media Director for Schnake Turnbo Frank | PR, the largest and oldest public relations firm in Oklahoma. Mike consults with clients about the best use of tools on the Internet, Web strategy and social media policy. Mike blogs regularly at and is working on his first book to be published in 2010. Mike lives in Oklahoma City with his wife and three kids.

You can find Mike on Twitter: @mkokc.

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