Online ad revenues continue to climb at double-digit rates, growing 18% year-over-year in Q3 from $7.82 billion to $9.26 billion, according to the latest quarterly revenue report from the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. That makes Q3 the largest quarter on record, up from the previous peak of $8.97 billion set in the fourth quarter of 2011.
That’s significant because the fourth quarter is typically the largest advertising quarter of the year. If advertising revenues continue to hold form, the fourth quarter of this year will set yet another record, likely breaking the $10 billion mark. That would be a significant bump from $1.64 billion in Q4 2001. An analysis of full-year revenues by MarketingCharts shows that when adjusting for inflation and online population growth, though, the rise has been healthy, but not as dramatic.
The 18% year-over-year jump in Q3 is also the largest year-over-year gain since Q4 2011, and represents the 12th consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth. And while seasonal trends over the decade have generally seen quarter-over-quarter growth between Q2 and Q3, the 6% rise this year marks the largest since Q2-Q3 2003 (8%).
Online advertising revenue growth is attributable in part to a general shift in marketers’ ad spending mix. Several pieces of research in the past year have noted that marketers have been moving budgets from traditional to online media. Increased measurability and accountability, increased customer engagement, and lower cost of customer acquisition have been cited as drivers for this shift.