Online ads growth at 30%

Maria Bartiromo: rapid online ad growthI just tuned in to the Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo. The projections for online ad growth in 2006 were pretty solid – 30% overall growth (Merryl Lynch).

In the last two years, there has been a surge in online spending by some “unlikely” advertisers.

A study published a few days ago, reveals an impressive 78% increase in online spending – most of it coming from local businesses.

Here’s the details:

Local businesses spent $4.8 billion on Internet advertising last year, a 78% jump over the previous year, according to a study released today by Borrell Associates. The report projects local Web ad spending to continue to increase in 2006 to a projected $5.8 billion. 20 percent of the growth was driven by search engine ads places by local businesses.

It seems the Long Tail is kicking in again. Surprisingly, Maria’s guest analyst said most of the growth in 2006 will not be in search ads but rather rich-media ads where Yahoo! has a firm foothold.