msnbc.com news services
updated 11/16/2005 8:38:16 AM ET 2005-11-16T13:38:16

The front pages of some of the Internet’s most popular Web pages, including Yahoo, Time Warner’s AOL and MSN, are sold out on big display advertisements for months in advance according to a report in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal.

(MSNBC content is distributed by MSN. MSNBC itself is a Microsoft — NBC joint venture.)

The growth comes as marketers shift dollars from television and print media to the Internet, the Journal said, noting that more Web sites are hanging “sold out” signs on their most coveted pages and dramatically raising advertising rates.

Web sites offering car-buying tips are booked so far in advance — sometimes up to 18 months — that they are selling advertising space for 2006 in a process similar to the way network television spots are sold the Journal said.

The newspaper says demand is allowing big rate increases at the largest portals, which are the prime beneficiaries of the growth. Yahoo, for example, said last month that prices increased by double digits in the third quarter from a year earlier, while AOL says prices for some ad units have increased as much as 20 percent since January according to the Journal.

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