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IAB & PwC: Search Still Tops Online Ad Revenues, And Share Grew In 2011

Through online advertising’s ups and downs, search — because of its orientation toward performance — has always been a stalwart category. Despite much talk about branding, social and immersive advertising lately, search still commanded the lion’s share of online advertising revenues (46.5%) in 2011 and its share grew from 2010 numbers (44.8%), when it experienced a bit of a dip. That’s according to the latest report on interactive advertising revenues put out by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in partnership with Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), which looked at full-year 2011 revenues.

Search brought in $14.8 billion in the full year 2011, up almost 27 percent from $11.7 billion in 2010. Online advertising as a whole showed a 22% growth rate, according to the report.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, search revenues accounted for 46% of overall online ad spending, up from 43% in the same period of the previous year. The category brought in $4.2 billion in Q4 of 2011, up 29% year-over-year. In the fourth quarter of 2010, search represented $3.2 billion in revenues.

The continued strength in search jibes with trends in pricing models, as well. Performance priced ads accounted for 65% of full year 2011 revenues, up from 62% of the market in 2010. CPM or impression-based ads took 31% of the spend in 2011, down from 33% share in 2010. Ads priced on a hybrid basis were down to 4% share, from 5% the prior year.

P.S. Here’s our coverage of the full scope of the report on Marketing Land.


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