Online Ad Spending Skyrockets

Revenues from online advertising in Canada blew past expectations in recession-ravaged 2009 and are expected to jump another 15% this year, according to new figures out Tuesday.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada said revenues hit $1.82 billion last year and will reach $2.1 billion in 2010.

“It seems incredible that after passing the $1 billion revenue mark just two years ago — and after the worst recession in history — Internet advertising in Canada is poised to break through to the $2 billion mark in 2010,” said Paula Gignac, president of IAB Canada.

What’s more impressive, according to Gignac, is that ad spending on the web in Canada has grown at a double-digit rate in the face of low, no, or negative growth in other countries.

Online ads are rapidly closing in on newspaper ad revenues with Internet spots now representing 13% of the combined $13.8 billion spent on advertising in all media.

In 2009, search-based ads continued to lead the share of dollars spent on the web, followed by display ads and classifieds. Sales of online video ads nearly doubled last year to hit $20 million while publisher-based email ads lost ground, falling from $18 million in 2008 to just $13 million in 2009.

Ads embedded within video games were also reported for the first time with $3 million in revenues.

Overall, automotive, packaged goods, financial, technology and retail companies spent most on Internet ads.