©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
After a down year in 2009, U.S. online ad spending rebounded in 2010, growing 15% to $26 billion, according to full-year data released Wednesday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Online ad revenue in the fourth quarter hit a record $7.4 billion, up from $6.4 billion in the prior quarter. For the first time, IAB also issued an annual figure for mobile ad spending, estimated at $550 million to $650 million in 2010 (separate from the online total).
The double-digit growth in overall Internet ad spending marks a turnaround from 2009, when the total dipped 3.4% to $22.7 billion, due to a stagnant economy. But an ad revival that began in the fourth quarter of 2009 carried through into 2010. “We have now had five consecutive quarters of growth, so it appears we have definitely weathered the storm. At least for the Internet advertising economy, the recession appears to be behind us,” said Sherrill Mane, senior vice president of industry services at the IAB, during a conference call announcing the year-end numbers.