Online Ad Revenues Climb 38%

First-quarter online ad revenues reached a record $3.9 billion--marking a 38 percent increase from the first three months of last year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The first-quarter revenues also marked a 6 percent increase from the last three months of last year, when Web ad spending totaled $3.6 billion.

Web ad spending has now increased for five consecutive quarters, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Last year, online ad spending came to $12.5 billion--marking a 30 percent increase from 2004. Last year's ad spend also totaled more than twice as much as that of 2002, when the market bottomed out at $6.01 billion.

Greg Stuart, CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, told OnlineMediaDaily in March that growth would likely be at least 20 percent this year.

Earlier this month, Merrill Lynch raised its online ad forecast to 28.7 percent growth, up from its previous estimate of 27.5 percent growth. The increase was spurred by Google's strong first-quarter earnings report, showing that the company took in $2.25 billion in revenue--a 17 percent increase from the fourth quarter, and a 79 percent increase over the first quarter of 2005.

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