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US Internet ad revenue hit record in 2010

- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. Internet advertising revenue hit a record $26 billion in 2010, boosted by the popularity of online videos and social media.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers report commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that last year's ad revenue grew 15 percent from 2009. The previous record was in 2008, when full-year revenue hit $23.4 billion.

The report, released Wednesday, said fourth-quarter advertising revenue also hit a record, at $7.4 billion. That's up 16 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009. The previous record was in the third quarter of 2010, at $6.5 billion.

The most popular ad format was search, which represented 46 percent, or $12 billion, of the year's total revenue.

Display-related ads accounted for 38 percent, or $9.9 billion, of 2010 ad revenue. That category includes banner ads, digital video ads and sponsorships.

The third-largest Internet ad category is classifieds, which accounted for $2.6 billion, or 10 percent of 2010 revenue.

PricewaterhouseCoopers partner David Silverman said more time spent online, fueled by the popularity of digital videos and social media, has helped fuel the ongoing advertising growth.

The report estimated 2010 mobile advertising revenue to be between $550 million and $650 million in the U.S. This is the first time it estimated mobile ad revenue.

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