Internet ad revenues rose 23.2% to a record $14.9 billion in the first half of 2011, according to figures released in September 2011 by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The rate of growth more than doubled year-over-year, as last year’s first-half ad revenues of $12.1 billion had represented an 11.3% increase from 2009.
Internet ad revenues for the second quarter alone also reached new heights, increasing 24.1% to $7.7 billion. That performance compares to last year’s same-period revenues of $6.2 billion, up 13.9% from 2009.
Looking at long-term historical performance since 1996, IAB finds that H1 internet ad revenues have risen year-over-year in all but three years: 2009, 2002, and 2001. H1 internet ad revenues fell 5% year-over-year in H1 2009, following six years of robust annual growth that included 15% in 2008 and a high for that period of 40% in 2004. Added up, the H1 internet ad revenues of every year from 1996 to 2011 equal almost $94.6 million.
Internet sponsorship is also on the rise, with some mixed results, according to MarketingVox.
Search, Display Categories Grow 27% YOY
Display-related advertising, which includes banner ads, rich media, digital video and sponsorships , totaled more than $5.5 billion in the first six months of 2011. Display increased 27.1% from the same period in 2010, substantially exceeding the previous year’s growth rate of 16%. Digital video once again commanded double-digit growth, up 42.1% from a year ago, and moved close to the $1 billion mark with $891 million in half year 2011 revenue.
Display accounted for 37% of all interactive spend in the first half of 2011, with search remaining the leading online category at 49% of the total — nearly $7.3 billion. Search and display each grew about 27% year-over-year, with search more than doubling its previous year’s growth rate of 11.6%.
Performance-based Ads Generate 2/3 of Revenue
Ads using performance-based models increased faster than ads using impression-based models, rising almost 7% to $9.6 billion, or from 61% to 64% of the total. Impression-based ad spend did grow by 10.8%, though that pricing model accounted for only 31% of total ads, down 11% from 35% year-over-year. Hybrid ads accounted for the remaining share of H1 online ad revenue.
comScore: Hulu Tops in Ad Impressions
Americans viewed more than 5.6 billion video ads in August 2011, according to comScore Media Metrix data, with Hulu generating the highest number of video ad impressions at 996 million. Tremor Video ranked second overall (and highest among video ad exchanges/networks) with 764 million ad views, followed by Adap.tv (720 million) and BrightRoll Video Network (603 million).
Time spent watching video ads totaled more than 2.5 billion minutes during the month, with Hulu delivering the highest duration of video ads at 426 million minutes. Video ads reached 50 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 37.6 times during the month. Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 38.1.