Internet advertising hits record $31 billion


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Internet advertising reached a record $31 billion last year -- a gain of 22% over 2010 spending, according to a report released Wednesday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.


Advertising tied to Internet searches continues to dominate the category, accounting for 46 cents of every dollar spent online. Revenues for search advertising reached $14.8 billion in 2011, an increase of 27% from a year earlier, according to the IAB.

Mobile advertising showed the fastest growth -- amid the popularity of smartphones -- and the ability of marketers to deliver timely, relevant ads in a way that previously wasn’t possible. The IAB reported that revenues rose to $1.6 billion in 2011, up 149% from the prior year.

‘Clearly mobile has become a key category,’ said David Silverman of PricewaterhouseCoopers, in a briefing with the media Wednesday morning.

Another category showing significant growth is advertising associated with digital video. Revenue reached $1.8 billion last year, compared with $1.4 billion in 2010 -- representing a 29% year-over-year gain.

Retail advertisers continue to represent the largest buyers of Internet ads, accounting for about 22% of spending in 2011, according to the IAB.

[For the record, 10:52 a.m. April 18: A previous version of this post misidentified the Interactive Advertising Bureau as the Internet Advertising Bureau.]


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-- Dawn C. Chmielewski