In a shift, online ad spending dropped 5 percent in the first quarter to $5.5 billion, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. That was a turnabout from the last couple quarters, which the IAB previously said were up 2.6 percent and 11 percent respectively. The latest figures highlight the general weakness of the internet space as the economy lurches toward recovery. For example, last week the Newspaper Association of America said that newspaper website revenues declined an unprecedented 13.4 percent.
The IAB’s figures are basically in line with BernsteinResearch’s finding that online ad dollars fell 4 percent in Q1, as the total ad market cratered 15.1 percent. For the full set of numbers from the IAB, the chart is after the jump.