Internet Ad Revenues Hit $31 Billion in 2011, Historic High Up 22% Over 2010 Record-Breaking Numbers

Q4 2011 Sees Best Quarterly Result Ever at $9 Billion, With 20% Uptick Over Q4 2010

Mobile Achieves Triple-Digit Growth Year-Over-Year

NEW YORK--()--The IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report for the full-year 2011 reveals that revenues soared to a landmark high of $31 billion. That milestone represents a 22 percent increase over 2010’s full-year number, which itself had been a record-breaker at $26 billion. The report, released today by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and prepared by PwC U.S., also unveils that fourth quarter revenues for 2011 hit a best-ever at $9 billion, marking a 15 percent increase over the third quarter 2011, which came in at $7.8 billion, and a 20 percent growth year-over-year in comparison to 2010’s $7.4 billion.

Other highlights of the report include:

  • Mobile experienced the fastest growth of all categories – triple-digit growth year-over-year – up 149 percent to $1.6 billion in full-year 2011 from $0.6 billion in 2010.
  • Digital video, a component of display-related advertising, saw a significant uptick of 29 percent year-over-year, bringing in $1.8 billion in revenue in 2011 compared to $1.4 billion in 2010.
  • Search revenues in 2011 totaled $14.8 billion, up almost 27 percent from $11.7 billion in 2010.
  • Display-related advertising revenues in 2011 totaled $11.1 billion or 35 percent of 2011 revenues, up 15 percent from $9.6 billion in 2010.
  • Retail advertisers continue to represent the largest category of internet ad spending, accounting for 22 percent in 2011, or $7.1 billion, up from 21 percent ($5.5 billion) reported in 2010.

“This historic moment, with an especially impressive achievement in mobile, is indicative of an increased awareness from advertisers that they need to reach consumers where they are spending their time--in digital media,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “Pushing past the $30 billion barrier, the interactive advertising industry confirms its central place in media. Across search, display, digital video, digital provides a wealth of opportunity for brands and consumers. With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, it is likely that the tremendous growth in mobile will continue as these screens become even more crucial to the marketing mix.”

“The year 2011 saw mobile advertising become a meaningful category,” said David Silverman, Partner, PwC U.S. “By combining some of the best features of the internet, along with portability and location-based technology, mobile advertising is enabling marketers to deliver timely, targeted, relevant, and local advertisements in a manner that was not previously possible. It is for these reasons that we expect strong growth to continue with mobile advertising.”

“Digital advertising’s stellar performance in 2011 attests to the high-value marketers put on the medium,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB. “In addition, with advancement in areas like mobile and digital video, it appears that there will be robust avenues for interactive’s growth in the future.”

Here are the results from the full year in comparison with last year’s numbers:

    Full Year     Full Year
      2010 * 2011
      %   $ %   $
Revenue (Ad Formats)                
Search     44.8 %   $11,661 46.5 %   $14,768
Classifieds and Directories     10.0 %   $2,597 8.1 %   $2,580
Lead Generation     5.1 %   $1,323 4.8 %   $1,522
E-mail     0.7 %   $195 0.7 %   $213
Mobile*     2.5 %   $641 5.0 %   $1,596
-Digital Video Commercials     5.4 %   $1,404 5.7 %   $1,809
-Ad banners / display ads     22.9 %   $5,963 21.5 %   $6,811
-Sponsorships     2.8 %   $718 3.5 %   $1,121
-Rich media     5.9 %   $1,539 4.1 %   $1,315

Total display-related

    37.0 %   $9,624     34.8 %   $11,056
* Revised from prior year to include mobile as a discreet category
Revenue (Pricing Models)                    
Impression-based     33.0 %   $8,589     31.3 %   $9,926
Performance-based     62.2 %   $16,198     64.6 %   $20,491
Hybrid     4.8 %   $1,254     4.2 %   $1,318

IAB sponsors the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, which is conducted independently by the New Media Group of PwC. The results are considered the most accurate measurement of interactive advertising revenues because the data is compiled directly from information supplied by companies selling advertisements on the internet.

The survey includes data concerning online advertising revenues from Web sites, commercial online services, free email providers, and all other companies selling online advertising. The full report is issued twice yearly for full and half-year data, and top-line quarterly estimates are issued for the first and third quarters. PwC does not audit the information and provides no opinion or other form of assurance with respect to the information.

A copy of the full report is available at:

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

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Laura Goldberg, 347-683-1859
Steven Silber, 646-471-4059


Laura Goldberg, 347-683-1859
Steven Silber, 646-471-4059