US digital advertising revenues for Q1 2019 were the strongest first quarter on record, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reports. The landmark $28.4 billion represents an 18 percent rise over Q1 2018, which IAB attributes to the quality of digital marketing today.

The latest IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report figures, prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), indicates a consistent climb of digital advertising revenues in the US since 2015. The data was compiled from company surveys that included online advertising revenues from web sites, commercial online services, free email providers and all other companies selling online advertising. PwC notes that it did not audit the information.

It’s no secret that digital advertising has steadily grown over the years, which can be attributed to several factors from mainstream consumer usage to more diverse ad offerings, according to the report. IAB, in particular, believes that brands are investing more because of the inherent trackability of digital advertising which allows for better consumer connections.

“The continued growth of digital ad spend is a reflection of its ability to help brands and publishers reach consumers and build meaningful one-to-one relationships,” said Sue Hogan, IAB senior vice president of research and measurement in a prepared statement. 

“Digital marketing offers brands the scale and reach they need to grow, while also providing the data they need to optimize campaigns for efficiencies. These first-party insights allow for significant connections with consumers and long-term value for both.”

IAB will compile its annual full-year report based on the first and third quarters of 2019. According to the full year 2018 report issued in May, digital advertising revenues reached a historic high of $107.5 billion in the US last year. It was the first time that digital advertising revenues surpassed $100 billion.

Out of all categories, print media was the only platform to suffer losses in ad revenue last year. Digital usage meanwhile, grew 20 percent YoY even though the digital audience only grew one percent YoY.

Brands will adopt new digital video ad formats at a higher rate in 2019, IAB predicted in its digital ad spend report, especially stories and shoppable ads. Over half of respondents—59 percent—planned to increase their spend on advanced TV (ATV) over the subsequent 12 months, with half reporting increases in OTT.