Internet ad spending in the U.S. grew 15% last year to $36.6 billion. That growth rate marks a slowdown from the 22% gain in 2011 and is more in line with the 14.5% rise in 2010.
For the fourth quarter of 2012, online ad spending reached $10.3 billion — up 14.9% from $9 billion a year ago, and 11.6% from $9.2 million in the third quarter, according to annual data released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers on Tuesday.
The $36.6 billion in total digital ad spending vaults the Internet ahead of cable TV ($32.5 billion), closing in on broadcast TV ($39.6 billion) as the top ad-supported medium overall, according to IAB estimates. eMarketer has projected U.S. digital ad spending will reach $42.5 billion this year.