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Internet Ad Rev Hits $42.8 Billion in 2013, Betters Broadcast TV

16 Apr, 2014 By: Doug McPherson

NEW YORK – U.S. interactive advertising revenue hit an all-time high in 2013 of $42.8 billion, surpassing broadcast television advertising revenues ($40.1 billion) for the first time ever, says the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO, IAB, says the news that interactive has outperformed broadcast television “should come as no surprise. It speaks to the power that digital screens have in reaching and engaging audiences.” He adds that the growth of mobile is a response to how “smaller digital screens play an integral role in consumers’ lives throughout the day, as well as their critical importance to cross-screen experiences.”

The $42.8 billion mark is a 17-percent increase over 2012’s revenues of $36.6 billion. The report, unveiled last week, says fourth-quarter revenues for 2013 came in at $12.1 billion, also an increase of 17 percent over the same quarter in 2012 — and represents an uptick of 14 percent from 2013’s third quarter revenues.

Other highlights include:

  • For the third year in a row, mobile hit triple-digit growth year-over-year, rising to $7.1 billion during 2013, a 110-percent boost from the prior year’s total of $3.4 billion. Mobile accounted for 17 percent of 2013 revenues, compared to just 9 percent in 2012.
  • Digital video brought in $2.8 billion in 2013, up 19 percent over 2012. As a result, it also increased its share to become the fourth-largest format, directly behind mobile.
  • Search revenues totaled $18.4 billion in 2013, up 9 percent from 2012.
  • Display-related ad revenues totaled $12.8 billion (30 percent of the year’s revenues), a rise of 7 percent over 2012.
  • Retail advertisers continue to represent the largest category of Internet ad spending, responsible for 21 percent in 2013, followed by financial services and automotive, which account for 13 and 12 percent of the year’s revenues, respectively.

David Silverman, a partner at PwC U.S., which helped IAB with the report, says the study confirms the U.S. is transitioning to the post-desktop era. “Triple-digit advertising revenue growth from mobile devices contrasted the more tepid 8-percent growth from traditional computer screens,” Silverman says. “This is simply a reflection of the change in how and where consumers are viewing their information – on the go.”

Sherrill Mane, senior vice president, research, analytics and measurement at IAB, says digital marketing generates “large reach and many possibilities to create impact across consumers’ purchase consideration processes, both critically important to advertisers as they seek marketing investments that have value.”

A copy of the full report is available at:

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