Numbers reflect marketers sustained efforts to engage consumers online
As marketers and digital ad publishers reflect on a whirlwind 2012, they should take heart knowing the Internet continues to gain ground as an advertising channel. Online ad revenues rose to a record high in the third quarter, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, jumping nearly 20% year-over-year for a total take of $9.26 billion.
"These historic investments in interactive point to the strong results that marketers are receiving from digital marketing," IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg suggested. "It is a highly effective medium for interacting and engaging consumers, who are no longer passive, but are active participants in contemporary media online, through social media and on-the-go with mobile."
A rising star
To put these numbers in perspective, Q3 2012 marks the first time ever that online ad revenue officially doubled that of print newspapers in the United States. According to the Newspaper Association of America, newspapers attracted approximately $4.5 billion in revenue during that period.
However, there is still a long way to go before digital reaches the ad revenue summit. Broadcast television attracted $34.5 billion in quarter-three ad spend. It’s worth noting that number was likely inflated to a certain extent, considering both the Olympic Games and U.S. presidential campaign season fell during the three-month period.
The one caveat to this online advertising optimism, of course, is that collective revenue only means so much to the individual publisher. As Fortune noted, money is not necessarily the tonic to fix ailing engagement rates in certain categories. And while it's always better to be trending upward in your earnings reports, there is still work left to be done in ensuring clear ROI follows consumers onto social and mobile platforms.