Online Ad Growth Moderates At Year-End

Online ad spending, which began 2004 on a high note--racking up $826 million in the month of January alone--ended the year with a whimper, taking in just $648 million in December, according to estimates released Tuesday by AdZone Research. While December was not the low point of the year--August, with $611 million in spending, was--the year-end finale foretells what a number of forecasters have been predicting: a slightly lower rate of ad expansion during 2005 than in 2004.

Technology marketers continued to lead other online advertisers in December, spending roughly $148 million for over 17.6 billion impressions, reported AdZone. That compares with October, when tech marketers spent $188 million for around 17 billion Web impressions.

The second-biggest online spenders were businesses, such as online classified companies, advertising agencies, and trade show marketers. As a group, they bought about 8.9 billion impressions for over $100 million.

Retail merchants were next at 5.5 billion impressions for $73.3 million, while banks, mortgage companies, and other financial services providers came in fourth, at 5.3 billion impressions for just over $70 million.

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