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Record Fourth Quarter for Online Ad Revenue; Search, Video, Display Jump

Online advertising had a record fourth quarter in 2009 following a bleak first nine months of the year.

In the fourth quarter, internet advertising grew 2.6% to a record $6.3 billion, compared to the same quarter a year earlier. Meanwhile, total media ad revenue slipped by 2% in the fourth quarter, according to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. (via MediaBuyerPlanner).

For the year, internet advertising fell 3.4%, to $22.66 billion, from $23.4 billion in 2008, the first year of decline since 2002, when online ad spend fell 16%, writes the Wall Street Journal.

By Format

Search made up 47% of 2009 internet ad revenue - up from 45% in 2008 - and ad spending increased 1% to $10.7 billion for the year. Display ad spending grew 4% for the year, to $8 billion. Digital video ad spending soared 38%, to $1 billion.

Classified ad spending plunged 29% to $2.3 billion in 2009, while ad spending on lead generation fell 14% to $1.5 billion.

Email ad revenue slipped 28%, to $292 million.

Though internet ad spending was down 3.4% for the year, that compares favorably with the 12.3% decline of ad spending across all media in 2009 (per Kantar Media).

The good news in the fourth quarter indicates, 'Apocalypse: not now,' according to Sherrill Mane, IAB senior vp of industry services (via BtoB).

Online Snapping up Market Share

Online overtook magazines as the third-largest advertising medium in 2009. The internet will continue to increase its share in coming years, growing from 12.6% of the market in 2009 to 17.1% in 2012. The internet is poised to surpass newspapers to become the second largest medium in terms of ad spending this year.

eMarketer predicts that online ad spending will grow 5.5% this year, to $23.6 billion.

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