Though U.S. Internet advertising revenues, at $22.7 billion for 2009, showed a 3.4 percent decline from 2008, there are signs of a recovery in the industry, according to the latest report from the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The fourth quarter of 2009 hit a record quarterly high of $6.3 billion, a 2.6 percent increase year-over-year and a 14 percent increase over the third quarter of 2009.
Search and display advertising continue to lead with the largest percentage of overall interactive advertising spend. Search revenues accounted for 47 percent of the total, amounting to nearly $10.7 billion for 2009, up slightly from 2008.
Display advertising totaled nearly $8 billion in 2009, showing an increase of 4 percent from 2008. One category of display advertising, digital video, continues to experience strong growth, with an almost 39 percent increase from 2008 to 2009.
These figures represent the significant share shift taking place from traditional media to digital. Based on data from PwC from 2005 to 2009 in five key U.S. ad-supported media (television, radio, newspapers, consumers magazines and Internet), the Internet's share of combined ad revenue grew from 8 percent to 17 percent.
"The record $6.3 billion spent on Internet advertising in the fourth quarter of 2009, while certainly aided by seasonal demand, is a strong indication that the worst of the economic impact on Internet advertising is over and that the seeds of growth have been planted," said David Silverman, PwC Assurance partner.