Online advertising revenues hit a record $5.9 billion in the U.S. in the first quarter, reflecting an uptick in the country's economy as well as the increasing role of online advertising in marketers' campaigns, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said in a report.
The figure represents a 7.5% gain from the same period a year ago. Commenting on the increase, Randall Rothenberg, IAB President and CEO, said innovation and technology giving access to real-time information and 24/7 entertainment drove the industry which, in turn, "lends major fuel to the U.S. economy."
Confirming the trend, comScore's Ad Metrix released data showing that American internet users were served a record 1.1 trillion display ads (including static and rich media ads but excluding video ads, house ads and very small ads below 2,500 pixels in dimension) in the quarter to end-March, equating to a 15% surge year on year.
According to Ad Metrix, total U.S. display ad spending in the quarter reached an estimated $2.7 billion, with the average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) equal to $2.48.
As we reported last week, Facebook was the single biggest online display ads publisher for the period, with Yahoo and Microsoft grabbing second and third place.
On advertisers' side, AT&T ranked first 26.3 billion impressions or 2.4% of display ads; Verizon came in second with 21.9 billion (2.0%), followed by Scottrade with 16.4 billion (1.5%).