Internet advertising ends 2009 on a high note


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Internet advertising revenue was down in 2009, but record-breaking spending during the fourth quarter indicates advertisers are slowly regaining their willingness to invest in online ads, a new study has found.

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, overall ad revenue in 2009 hit $22.7 billion, down 3.4% from 2008.


But it was the peppy fourth quarter of 2009 that gave the researchers some hope for 2010. During that period, advertisers spent $6.3 billion on Web advertising, a 2.6% increase over the same period in 2008. The figure set an all-time record for the most ad revenue in a single quarter. Industry analysts and publishers hope that means the worst of the ad slump is over.

The IAB also looked at different sectors of the online-advertising market. In 2009, 47% of all ad revenue was generated through search services. It was followed by display advertising, which was 35% of total revenue. Advertising in classifieds and e-mail captured 10% and 1% of ad revenue, respectively.

-- Don Reisinger