Death, taxes, and Internet ad revenues going up are the new certainties of life, apparently.
Online ad revenues in the U.S. jumped 18 percent from 2012’s numbers to hit a new record, $20.1 billion, just for the first half of 2013. Mobile revenues were the fastest-growing, soaring 145 percent to $3 billion, and digital video ads, crucial to the growth of visual media online such as YouTube, rose 24 percent to $1.3 billion.
That’s good news for Facebook, Google — and the soon-to-IPO Twitter. The top 10 online companies command 70 percent of all online ad revenue.
“Mobile advertising’s breakneck growth is evidence that marketers are recognizing the tremendous power of smaller screens,” Internet Advertising Bureau CEO Randall Rothenberg said in a statement.
Search revenues, the money that search engines such as Google and Bing as well as local search sites such as Yelp and Yellow Pages bring in, continued to rise, but at a slower pace. Search revenues increased 7 percent to $8.7 billion, just about a third more than display ad revenue, which increased 9 percent to $6.1 billion.
Web properties are clearly not seeing the heady 100 percent to 300 percent increases that Internet advertising realized in the late 1990s, but these numbers indicate that online advertising, which has risen in double digits for four consecutive half-year reporting time frames, is alive and healthy.
Online advertising was worth only $82 million in the first half of 1996, crossed the billion-dollar mark first in 1998, and rose over $10 billion just six years ago in 2007.
Interestingly, only one category of ad revenue was down in the last six months. E-mail ads were flat, but almost everything else — classifieds and directories, sponsorships, lead generation, and banner ads — was up. The one category that was down was rich media ads, possibly due to their cost, and the fact that in today’s increasingly automated advertising ecosystem, they’re not as easy to create on the fly and throw into an ad network’s inventory.
But digital video commercials were up, as was mobile.
“Internet advertising’s ability to impact and engage is evident across digital screens, whether big or small,” said David Silverman, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
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