General community websites captured the fastest growing sector in online advertising revenue last month, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.
The latest estimates from the analyst's AdRelevance service reported that the next most successful sites were in the categories of health and fitness, business, men's general interest, shopping and auctions.
General community websites, led by MySpace, made the largest year-over-year leap to $33m with a 214 per cent growth in advertising revenue.
Health and fitness sites grew 80 per cent in estimated revenue to more than $4.5m, and business websites took in $12.6m, rising 46 per cent as compared to last year.
Estimated spending reflects CPM-based (cost per thousand) online advertising only, and excludes search-based advertising, paid fee services and other online promotions.
"General community sites tend to have a higher level of engagement or interactivity with their users, making the sites very attractive to advertisers, " said Gerry Davidson, senior media analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings.
The top three categories - financial services, web media and retail goods and services - spent a collective $228m in online advertising, making up half of the estimated $456m spent during June 2005.
Financial services spent an estimated $80m on online advertising during June 2005, growing 16 per cent year-over-year. Web media spent nearly $75m, rising 15 per cent as compared to last year. Retail goods and services spent $73m, jumping 77 per cent.
"Our MegaView Financial data shows that 53 per cent of the active internet universe, or 74 million people in the US, are currently conducting financial activity online," said Davidson.
"As a result, financial services companies have remained very aggressive in spending the most advertising dollars online as they seek new online customers. "
Online retailers have boosted their online advertising spending by 77 per cent, which is impressive because they are also one of the top spenders, added Davidson.
Telecoms and travel rounded out the rankings with $43m and $33m, rising 38 per cent and 26 per cent respectively. Page impressions for the top five categories also secured year-over-year double-digit growth.
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