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Online ad revenue strong first half of 2008: What about the second half?

Internet ad revenue surged in the first half of 2008, up 15.2 percent to $11.

Internet ad revenue surged in the first half of 2008, up 15.2 percent to $11.5 billion compared to a year ago, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Unfortunately, that duo left their crystal balls at home when it comes to the second half outlook.

Simply put, knowing what happened to online ad revenue in the first half of 2008 is interesting, but not exactly what inquiring minds want to know. Will the second half negate the first half's growth amid a slowing economy and the implosion of two key ad categories--financial services and automotive?

We'll get an early read on that next week when earnings season starts. In the meantime here's a look at the first half points (statement):

  • Search revenue was $5.1 billion in the first half, up 24 percent from a year ago. Think Google.
  • Second quarter revenue was up 12.8 percent from a year ago.
  • Display ad revenue was $3.2 billion, up 19 percent.
  • Digital video ads jumped to $345 million in the first half, up from $100 million a year ago.
  • Email, referral and leads were roughly flat with a year ago.
  • Fifty-two percent of deals are performance related, up from 50 percent a year ago.

A little second quarter history:


By format:


But the big question is this: How will these verticals hold up in the second half (click to enlarge)?



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