Internet ad revenue revenue grew 22 percent in 2011, to $31 billion, according to the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report.
That’s an all-time high.The final three months were also the all-time best quarter at $9 billion, an increase of 20 percent from the same quarter in 2010.
Search remains the biggest piece of the pie, with $14.8 billion in revenue, up from $11.7 billion in 2010. Not surprisingly, however, as a percentage, mobile is the fastest-growing sector, more than doubling from $0.6 billion 2010 (the first year that the report tracked mobile numbers) to $1.6 billion 2011. Display advertising grew 35 percent to $11.1 billion overall, with video in particular accounting for $1.8 billion.
PricewaterhouseCoopers prepared the report for the Interactive Advertising Bureau, and representatives ffromrm both organizations are discussing their findings on a conference call right now. Apparently, the IAB always kicks off the call with a quote from a notable figure that seems to reflect the general theme of the report. This year, it went with Oliver Wendell Holmes: “The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand and as in what direction we are moving.”
It’s not all about growth. For example, Sherrill Mane, the IAB’s senior vice president of research, analytics, and measurement, said that the noteworthy thing about CPMs (the price paid per thousand ad impressions) is that they’re not falling quite as quickly as they used to be, so there’s hope they’ll stabilize or even rise in the future. As you look across the numbers, she also said that the movement of brand dollars online slowed in the second half of 2011 compared to the first six months of the year.