The growth of targeting is being fueled by the adoption of broadband Internet access and mobile smartphones. The analyst firm estimates 68% of all U.S. households will have broadband by the end of this year, increasing to 80.4 million users by 2015.
The Parks Associate report, titled "Trends in Behavioral and Contextual-based Advertising," shows consumers increasingly accept targeted advertising: more than one-third of households with broadband will provide personal information such as age, gender, income, and product preferences to receive relevant Internet ads, while adults 18 to 34 will provide even more personal information to receive meaningful online ads.
U.S. contextual-based advertising earnings are estimated at $2.6 billion by year-end 2011. Revenue growth will increase, reaching $3.6 billion to represent 9.6% of the total 2015 Internet advertising revenue.
Education has also helped fuel the acceptance of ad targeting based on behavior. During the past three years, U.S. Internet users have become more aware of online behavioral advertising and generally are well-versed in key terminology, according to eMarketer, which points to research from Harris Interactive.
Although only 30% of U.S. internet users said they were aware of the phrase "do not track," 84% are aware of the term "Internet cookies." And 66% of consumers are equally likely to recognize the terms "Interest-based advertising." And about 65% know the meaning of "online tracking."
When asked what information they share with advertisers, the majority of U.S. Internet users said they would only share non-personally identifiable information related to hobbies, interests and demographics. Users remained unwilling to share sensitive information such as financial data and contact information, according to eMarketer.
But I'm noticing more often companies turn away browsers that do not accept cookies. Regardless of the "do not track" initiative, soon consumers won't have a choice.