Online ads back to black in US

US internet advertising revenues increased to a record $6.4 billion (€4.7 billion) in Q3, showing the market has returned to growth following the financial crash and recession.
 
The sector has been growing for most of 2010 after a heavy contraction last year, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) jointly revealed yesterday.
 
The market grew 17% year-on-year in the third quarter, beating even the highs of 2008 when the US economy was in better shape.
 
“Advertisers are shifting more of their brand messaging online, accounting for this welcome surge in a difficult economy,” PwC partner David Silverman said.
 
After earning revenues of $23.4 billion in 2008, spending slumped to $22.6 billion in 2009, with the worst declines felt in the middle of the year.
 
The figures are backed up by ComScore research published earlier this month, which found that total ad impressions grew 22% to nearly 1.3 trillion during Q3.
 
“Just one year ago we were still in the midst of an advertising recession, but several growth drivers have contributed to sustained improvements over the past few quarters,” ComScore senior vice president Jeff Hackett said.
 
Factors include the emergence of location-based and targeted advertising.
 
The US performance is a good portend for the global online ad industry, which Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker this week predicted will balloon to $50 billion in the near future.

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