Online Ad Spending Tops $100 Billion in 2012

digitaladspendFrom my Forbes.com blog The New Persuaders:

Spending on online advertising topped $100 billion for the first time last year, according to a report out today from eMarketer.

The $102 billion in worldwide digital ad revenues doesn’t mean much on an absolute basis, of course, but the round number points up how fast online ads have reached the century mark: Fewer than 20 years ago, they were virtually nil.

Digital now commands nearly one in five ad dollars, the market researcher notes. What’s more, it’s continuing to grow at a rapid clip, forecast to stay at double-digit increases through at least 2015. This year, eMarketer reckons online ad sales will rise 15.1%, to $118.4 billion. And by 2016, digital ad spending will pass a quarter of all ad dollars.

Most of that, not surprisingly, will be spent in North America and Western Europe, which currently have the highest levels of digital advertising spend per Internet user–$168 and $112 this year, respectively. North America commands 39% of digital ad spending, and that’s not going to decline much in coming years despite more rapid growth in Asia and Latin America, particularly Indonesia, India, and Mexico.

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Online Ad Revenue Growth Slowing

Cross-posted from my Forbes.com blog The New Persuaders:

Internet advertising revenues grew 15% in the second quarter from a year ago, according to the latest official tally released today. The Interactive Advertising Bureau said online ad revenues from all sources hit a record $8.4 billion.

But that 15% growth rate, while not bad in these uncertain economic times, is a considerable drop from a year ago, when revenues rose 23%.

IAB didn’t provide a reason for the slowing growth, but ad folks across the spectrum of advertisers, agencies, and publishers have noted caution on the part of marketers as the economy has appeared to stall in recent months. While Google’s search ads, which led to the company’s 24% rise in revenues in the first quarter, continue to be strong, less direct or measurable ads such as display ads may be seeing more of an impact from the economy. Facebook, for instance, one of the big drivers of display growth, saw revenues fall 8% from the fourth to the first quarter, though to be fair, first-quarter revenues jumped 45% from a year ago.

In any case, the flagging growth all the more points up the need for Web publishers to come up with better ways to attract the brand advertisers that still spend 95% of their budgets in traditional media. They don’t yet see a compelling way to reach a whole lot of people with image ads online.

Read the original post at The New Persuaders.

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