The online advertising sector saw surprising growth over the first half of 2011, reaching nearly $15 according to data released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Since its inception, online advertising has seen some dramatic swings, growing 320 percent in 1997 before eventually plummeting 20 percent in 2002. Despite the ongoing economic difficulties, however, overall spending in the sector rose 23 percent from the first half of last year.
Video advertising saw the biggest gains, growing 42.1 percent over last year to $891 million. Email advertising declined the most, falling 35 percent, but it already reflected a relatively minor portion of the industry.
Search-related advertising maintained its dominance over the field with 49 percent of all spending, with strong implications for companies like Google.
'The remarkably resilient performance of interactive advertising so far in 2011 demonstrates that more marketers are placing big bets on digital to tell their brandy stories," Randall Rothenberg, president and chief executive officer of IAB, said in a statement.
The U.S. set a record for online advertising revenue in 2010, by earning $23.4 billion, according to The Huffington Post, setting up the industry to shatter the record in 2011.