Online ad revenues grew by 15.8% year-over-year in Q1, increasing from $8.3 billion to $9.6 billion, per the latest quarterly revenue figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). That $9.6 billion figure represents a peak for first quarter spending, which isn’t surprising given sustained double-digit growth rates for some time now. This past quarter’s 15.8% growth rate represents faster growth than last year’s first quarter, which saw a 14% gain.
While the $9.6 billion in revenues in Q1 is a step down from Q4 2012’s $10.3 billion, that’s to be expected given seasonal trends in ad spending. All the same, it’s the second largest quarter on record.
Online ad spending is expected to grow by 11.5% this year, according to a recent forecast from Warc. That would mark somewhat of a slowdown from full-year growth rates from the past 3 years, with the researchers attributing their muted forecast to deflationary pricing trends affecting display revenues.