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Revenue from online advertising brought in $7.2bn (£4.5bn) last year and, although it marked a decline from the previous year's numbers, the market fared well considering advertising's across-the-board drop because of tough economic conditions. Moreover, the 12% decline was in comparison to the ad boom year of 2000, the researcher noted.
Traditional media such as TV and radio fared worse, PwC said, experiencing a 13.8% and 20% decline in ad revenue respectively.
Internet ad revenue for the fourth quarter of 2001 slid 7.5% compared with the same period the previous year, totalling $1.7bn (£1.2bn). However, the researcher expressed optimism that the online ad market will rebound, citing the growing base of Internet users, attractive demographics and higher online accountability.
Additionally, more large advertisers are beginning to recognise the value of Internet advertising for increasing brand awareness, the New York researcher said.
Banner ads, sponsorships and classifieds still lead online advertising sales, according to PwC, with classifieds benefitting from the weak job market.
Consumer advertising was the strongest category of online ad sales, however, representing 30% of revenues in 2001.
Consumer ads were followed by the computing and financial services categories, the researcher said, which brought 18% and 12% of revenues respectively.