Internet ad revenue exceeds $21b in 2007, group says

Online advertising revenues exceeded $21 billion for the first time in 2007, although preliminary data compiled by an industry trade group also suggest growth is slowing, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report quoted the Interactive Advertising Bureau as saing that its estimates show ad revenues grew 25% last year from nearly $17 billion in 2006.

In dollar amounts, the estimated gain was $4.2 billion, less than the 35% and $4.3 billion growth seen in 2006 over 2005, the report said.

Analysts have said the growth rate was bound to slow as the internet commands a larger share of the advertising pie, taking dollars away from traditional media like newspapers, the Associated Press report further said.

By most accounts, the internet still represents less than 10% of all US ad spending, meaning there's room for a lot more growth, even at a slower rate.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, which conducts a quarterly survey for the advertising trade group using data from the 15 largest online ad sellers, said fourth-quarter revenues totaled about $5.9 billion, topping the previous record of $5.2 billion in the third quarter, the report further said.