The Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers just released their quarterly report on U.S. online advertising revenues. For the quarter, they estimate online advertising revenues were almost $5.9 billion ($5.865 billion, to be exact), which is an 11 percent increase from the same quarter a year ago and a 2 percent increase from the second quarter of 2008.
If you look at the graph above, you can see that online advertising revenues have been pretty much flat all year long. And the annual growth rate is less than half of what it was a year ago when it was 25.6 percent. To get a sense of the slowdown, look at the annual growth rates for each of the past five quarters:
And remember, these numbers are just or the U.S. The global online advertising picture might be worse. Just tallying up the worldwide online advertising revenues of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL—as I did a few days ago—suggests that annual growth in the third quarter was higher at 18 percent, but the sequential growth was slowing down faster (see chart below) at only 0.6 percent over the second quarter of 2008.
If these trends continue, the fourth quarter could see an actual decline in both U.S. and global growth.