Digital Media Ad Revenue Poised to Top $100 Billion, Led by Mobile

November 16, 2018 Kathy Bryan

Digital advertising revenue in the U.S. rose 23% year over year (YOY) to $49.5 billion during the first half of 2018 (H1 2018), according to a recently published IAB report. Ad spending is generally higher during the second half of the year, allowing projections of total ad revenue eclipsing the $100 billion mark by year end. For the full 12 months of 2017, total U.S. media ad revenue was $88 billion.

Mobile Ad Spend Is Leading the Growth

Approximately two-thirds of the digital media spend during H1 2018 was for mobile ad units. At $30.9 billion, mobile ad revenue was up 42% year over year and up ten-fold from H1 2013.

U.S. mobile digital ad revenue Mobile Ad Spend Leading Growth

Almost one-quarter of consumers access the internet exclusively from mobile devices and almost three-quarters of all internet time is spent on mobile devices. However, mobile ad revenue accounted for just 63% of all digital ad revenue in H1 2018, showing clear room for continued expansion.

Share of Mobile Internet Time Remains Greater than Share of Mobile Digital Ad Revenue in U.S.

Mobile advertising revenue for video units grew 61% YOY in H1 2018. Banner advertising revenue on mobile devices grew 45% YOY and accounted for almost three-quarters of the banner channel’s ad revenue.

H1 2018 Digital Ad Revenue by Channel

Social Ad Revenue Set to Cross $25 Billion

In just four years, social media advertising revenue grew 352% — from $2.9 billion in the first half of 2014 to $13.1 billion in H1 2018. Based on the current speed of social media ad spending, 2018 will mark the first year social ad revenue crosses the $25 billion mark.

U.S. social media ad revenue

Video Ad Revenue Also on Fast Trajectory

With 220 million users streaming 47 billion videos each month, the video channel has become popular with advertisers. Over the past three years, video ad revenue climbed 169% — from $2.6 billion in H1 2015 to $7.0 billion during the first half of this year. CPMs for in-stream videos rose 5% YOY to $25.63 for the period of July 2017 to June 2018.

U.S. video ad revenue

Though a smaller market, audio ad revenue also scaled, more than doubling in two years from $425 million in H1 2016 to $935 million in H1 2018.

Ad Spend on Traditional Media Is Flat

In Q2 2018, while digital advertising revenue climbed 23%, traditional media ad revenue grew just 1%. Cable and broadcast TV ad revenue both rose in H1 2018 (up 16% YOY for cable and up 5% for broadcast), but radio, newspaper and magazine ad revenue slipped (3%, 8% and 15% respectively).

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About the Author

Kathy Bryan

Kathy Bryan is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), an industry leader in providing end-to-end customer acquisition solutions that help clients grow their businesses and realize their marketing goals. In this role, Kathy is responsible for all aspects of marketing and communications for DMS and its subsidiary brands. Since its inception, DMS has evolved into a full-service performance marketing company that services firms within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, automotive, jobs and careers. DMS has achieved incredible year-over-year growth, which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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