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U.S. Internet ad revenue: Down 5.3 percent; Search rules

U.S. Internet advertising revenue checked in at $10.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

U.S. Internet advertising revenue checked in at $10.9 billion for the first six months of 2009, down 5.3 percent from a year ago, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

As usual, search and display advertising dominated the standings. Search advertising totaled $5.1 billion for the first six months of the year, up slightly. Display ads were $3.8 billion for the first half, down 1.1 percent from a year ago. Video ads surged 38 percent in the first half from a small base.

The IAB seemed to count the slight decline as a win given the economy (statement, full report).

Let's roll the charts...

The breakdown by category:

Vs. 2008:

And the historical trends: Clearly, search (read Google) is the big dog.

By industry categories, retail and telecom account for the biggest portion of the ad revenue pie followed by financial services and automotive, two struggling verticals.

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