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Advertising online nears US$2b

ALTHOUGH Internet advertising has only really been available for a few years, businesses in the US spent $1.92 billion advertising online last year.

For the first time, Internet advertising has outgunned a more traditional ad category – outdoor advertising (generally billboards), with an estimated $1.58 billion.

A report by the Internet Advertising Bureau said online advertising revenue last year grew 112 per cent over 1997’s $906.5 million total.

In the fourth quarter of last year, revenue increased to $655.6 million, a 34 per cent rise over the same period in 1997, said the New York-based online advertising association.

According to the report, consumer-related advertising led the pack in online spending (29 per cent), followed by computing (20 per cent), financial services (19 per cent), telecommunications (8 per cent) and new media (7 per cent).

Banner ads are most predominant with a 56 per cent share and sponsorships are in the second slot with 30 per cent, the report said.

Reports from companies that sell advertising online indicate that if this year’s sales continue to grow at current speeds, advertising spending will hit $4 billion this year.

A recent ranking of the top ten online advertisers by BannerTrack(SM) and Nielsen//NetRatings’ put Microsoft in number one spot and Amazon in second place.

It is estimated that Australian businesses spent $12 million advertising on the Internet last year.

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