Thursday, October 11, 2012

IAB reports Internet ad revenue grew 14% to $17 billion in first half of 2012, mobile ad revenue nearly doubles

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today reported that Internet advertising revenue had grown 17 percent in the first half of 2012, reaching a new high of $17 billion. Internet ad revenue was $8.7 billion in the second quarter.

The IAB report also showed a dramatic growth in mobile with ad revenue almost doubling to $1.2 billion in the first half of the year, up from $636 million in the first half of 2011.

"This report establishes that marketers increasingly embrace mobile and digital video, as well as the entire panoply of interactive platforms to reach consumers in innovative and creative ways," Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the IAB said. "These half-year figures come on the heels of a study from Harvard Business School researchers that points to the ad-supported internet ecosystem as a critical driver of the U.S. economy. Clearly, the digital marketing industry is on a positive trajectory that will propel the entire American business landscape forward."
"Solid double-digit growth in a stagnating economy is a significant accomplishment,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics and Measurement, IAB. “There is evidence that CPMs are maintaining, and even increasing, further substantiating the vitality of the internet ad market."

If there is a downside to the report, it is that much of the growth in revenue is in search which is dominated by only a handful of players, while display and classified either grew modestly, or in the case of classifieds, actually shrank.

The IAB study is conducted by the New Media Group of PwC. The press release with stats can be found here. A word of caution is always required when one researches ad revenue. Unlike linage reports, revenue reports are often based not on actuals but on estimates based on published rates and reports from publishers.