Online Ad Revs Set Record During Quarter; Premium Display Up 25 Percent

Another report showing that the online ad market is back to setting records in the U.S.: the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Pricewaterhouse Coopers say internet ad spending jumped 7.5 percent during the first quarter to $5.9 billion — marking the “highest first-quarter revenue level ever for the industry.” Release

Here’s the chart. Click to enlarge:


David adds: As further proof that even the more expensive sites are seeing some action in Q1, online ad inventory manager The Rubicon Project says that its index of 25 premium sites from last year. While these positive numbers come off one of the worst quarters within the deepest recession in 60 years, it’s notable that spending is coming back in Q1, which tends to be the weakest quarter for ad spend as marketers take a break after the holiday season. The Rubicon’s free report on online ad trends is available here.

Meanwhile, in light of the strength shown in Q1, eMarketer has revised its U.S. online advertising spending estimate for 2010 to $25.10 billion at a 10.8 percent growth rate over last year — almost double its previous estimate in December ’09, which was $23.6 billion at a growth rate of 5.5%. David Hallerman, an eMarketer analyst, attributed the rosier outlook to a number of factors, including continued economic weakness, which will push more money to cheaper, more targetable online placements.

Secondly, Hallerman said banner ad spending has been more steady than expected, with an increase of sites and pages for ad inventory, as reflected in Facebook’s surge.