Internet ad spending totaled an estimated $2.3 billion in the quarter, up 39% from the first quarter of 2003 and the highest quarterly total since the IAB began tracking spending in 1996.
The estimate was derived by analyzing data from the top 15 online ad sellers and extrapolating the results. The IAB said actual results will be reported in July.
"All through 2003 we published positive revenue results for Internet advertising, and the trend continued through the first quarter of 2004," said Tom Hyland, partner and chairman of the New Media Group at PricewaterhouseCoopers. "The business fundamentals remain solid, the technology infrastructure is advancing at a rapid pace and marketers are continuing to use the Internet for all types of marketing and promotion."