The interactive ad industry has gained momentum in tandem with increased high-speed broadband Internet access making it easier for more people to watch online video. Broadband users now make up 42 percent of the U.S. population, up from 36 percent in January 2005, according to a September report by Nielson/NetRatings. And Internet ad revenues are following suit. For the first half of 2005, they were up 26 percent from last year, reports the Interactive Advertising Bureau in New York.
The Web still snags a much smaller percentage than print of total measured U.S. advertising revenues (5.3 percent for the Web versus 23 percent for newspapers and 8.6 percent for broadcast network TV in 2005) according to the Jack Myers Business Report. But newspaper growth has been relatively stagnant, while the Internet and other interactive media continue to have double-digit increases. And this revenue shift is expected to continue. At a September 2005 Advertising Week event, David Verklin, the CEO of Aegis Group's Carat Americas, predicted that over the next three years, advertisers will shift $40 billion collectively out of their TV budgets and into new, digital media.
With online advertising so ubiquitous, it takes more than a clever idea to get consumers' attention. Increasingly, they want to get something in return for their time. Hence, the boom in online and mobile media contests and sweepstakes which are incorporated into various ad categories from streaming video to website banners.