Sean Donahue

Is Recent Online Ad Slowdown Just a Bump in the Road?

Excitement over advertising revenues was palpable among the online publishers I talked to all last year. That’s not surprising, given the 26% annual growth reported for online advertising reported by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Then, early this year, fears over the impact of the economic slowdown began to raise concerns about online advertising’s continued growth among publishers who were increasingly basing their business models on ad-supported content.

The latest data from the IAB might put some of those fears at ease. Yes, there was an expected dip in online ad revenues in the first quarter, thanks to seasonal factors and the economic slowdown. But Q1’s $5.8 billion in total online advertising revenue was only a slight drop from the $5.9 billion in online advertising reported in Q4 2007 — and the second-highest total revenue figure ever recorded. That $5.8 billion total figure also represents an 18.2% increase over the previous year’s Q1 results.

Representatives from the IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers, who publishes the IAB’s Internet Advertising Report, remain bullish on the long-term growth potential for online ad revenue. All eyes will be on their second quarter report, expected later this year, to see if the dip is indeed temporary.

But, if you’re an online publisher, I’m curious to hear how your ad revenues are shaping up so far this summer. Are you seeing demand and revenues resuming the kind of growth you enjoyed in 2007?

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Contentbiz, Online Advertising



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