Online ad revenue shows gain

Web advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2003 increases 7 percent over the last quarter of 2002, according to a new report.

CNET News staff
Net advertising has registered two consecutive quarterly increases for the first time in two years, according to a new report.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers said Wednesday that revenue totaled $1.69 billion in the first quarter--a 7 percent jump over the last quarter of 2002 and an 11 percent increase from the year-ago period.

The trade group reported earlier that online ad revenue for the final quarter of 2002 grew 9 percent over the previous quarter and that Net ad sales totaled $6 billion for all of 2002.

The present figures for the first quarter are based on an extrapolation of data gathered from the top 15 online ad sellers. The actual first-quarter results will be disclosed in September, along with second-quarter figures.

"This consecutive quarter-over-quarter growth bodes well for the majority of IAB members," IAB CEO Greg Stuart said in a statement. "Consumers are going online in droves, and the ad dollars are following closely behind."

IAB said its members are responsible for selling more than 75 percent of online advertising in the United States. The new report's data includes ad revenue from Web sites, commercial online services, free e-mail providers and companies that sell online advertising.