Companies that sell online advertising have begun releasing earnings reports for the latest quarter. Here are highlights of recent quarterly earnings reports from selected Internet and media companies and what they say about the state of spending on advertising.
— April 16: Yahoo Inc. says first-quarter revenue shrank by 7 per cent. The weak spot was in one of Yahoo’s former strengths — display advertising. After subtracting the commissions that Yahoo pays its partners, the company’s display advertising revenue fell by 11 per cent from last year to $402 million. That development suggests that Yahoo is losing more ground in a key area of Internet advertising to Google Inc., which already dominates search advertising, and Facebook Inc., whose online social network is becoming a more powerful marketing magnet.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers release a report showing that U.S. Internet advertising revenue grew 15 per cent to a record $36.6 billion in 2012, with mobile ad revenue growing faster than other types. Mobile ad revenue more than doubled from the previous year to $3.4 billion. It accounted for 9 per cent of the total in 2012, up from 5 per cent in 2011. Mobile ads represent an area of growth for many companies.
— April 18: Google Inc. issues results that provide further proof that the Internet search leader is figuring out how to make more money as Web surfers migrate from personal computers to mobile devices. The first-quarter numbers show that a recent decline in Google’s average ad prices is easing. The latest decrease in average ad prices was just 4 per cent. By comparison, Google’s average ad price fell by 6 per cent during the final three months of last year and by 12 per cent during last year’s first quarter.
Microsoft Corp. says online advertising revenue grew 22 per cent to $784 million in the January-March period, largely because of an increase in revenue per search, offset partly by a decrease in display advertising revenue.
— May 1: Facebook Inc. says net income and revenue grew in the first quarter, helped by an increase in mobile ad revenue, a figure that some investors have been watching closely. Facebook says mobile advertising revenue was 30 per cent of its total ad revenue, amounting to $375 million. That’s up from 23 per cent, or $306 million, in the fourth quarter.
— May 8: AOL Inc.