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Internet Ad Revenues Grew in 2008

NEW YORK: Internet advertising generated $23.4 billion last year in the United Sates, according to the 2008 Internet Advertising Revenue Report. The sum exceeded the 2007 record-setting total of $21.2 billion by nearly 11 percent. The report was issued this week by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The 2008 take marks the fifth consecutive year of record results.

Internet spending is increasingly outpacing cable and broadcast TV ad revenues, the study demonstrated. Over a 14-year period, ’Net spending went from $55 million to more than $23 billion; cable spending, from $147 million to $6.5 billion, and broadcast TV spending, from $358 million to more than $13 billion.

Just 10 companies accounted for fully 72 percent of online revenues. The top 50 cornered 91 percent of the market.

Search was the primary main driver of revenue growth, increasing 20 percent over 2007. Digital video accounted for a small portion of the total, generating $734 million--twice the 2007 sum. Retail, financial services, computing and automotive were the four leading categories in 2008 as well as 2007.

During 4Q, ’Net ad spending exceeded the $6 billion mark for the first time in a single quarter, reaching $6.1 billion. The total was $154 million more than 4Q07’s $5.9 billion. -- Deborah D. McAdams