Blog Post

Online Ad Impressions Grew 14 Percent In Q1, As Separate Research Shows Flat Prices In May

Internet ad impressions grew by 14.7 percent in Q1, buoyed by search as the main driver and rich media, which gave display a boost, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Again, while healthy, the numbers show significant slowing in online ad growth, as Nielsen said online grew 31.9 percent in its Q107 survey.

The new numbers come amid a flurry of data in recent days that also chart the online advertising slowdown this year. On Monday, the National Newspaper Association issued research showing that revenue slowed sharply in Q1 for newspaper sites, with revs rising only 7.2 percent compared to the 22 percent gains recorded the year before. Last week, TNS Media Intelligence reported that display ad dollars in Q1 came in with an 8.5 percent gain, reflecting a large gap between the 16.7 percent figure from the same period in 2007. More from Nielsen’s numbers here. Lots more details from Nielsen’s and Pubmatic’s reports after the jump.

While the differences between this year and last are mostly a result of the law of large numbers, the sputtering economy could be having some impact, according to figures from web publisher consultant Pubmatic. A number of industry observers have maintained that the larger economic woes would not significantly dent online ad spend. In an investor’s note issued on Monday, Doug Anmuth, Lehman Brothers internet analyst, endorsed that view again after his team conducted interviews with executives at WPP’s GroupM Interaction, Publicis Groupe’s Digitas and Aegis. That said, last month Anmuth revised his 2008 online ad spend outlook down a bit to 23 percent growth from his previous expectation of 24 percent gains.

As for Pubmatic’s view, its research showed that online ad prices were essentially flat, slipping 0.7 percent in May after the previous month