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Digital Ad Spend for H1 2018 Reaches $49.5B, a New Record

The total digital ad spend for the first half of 2018 reached $49.5 billion in the United States, reports the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). That’s a new H1 record. The IAB’s numbers were produced by PwC US, and show a 23 percent year-over-year (YOY) increase from H1 2017, which totaled $40.3 billion.

Digital video advertising made up $7 billion of that total, or 14.2 percent. While that might not sound like much, video’s share of total digital ad spend is increasing. The area grew 35 percent YOY from $5.2 billion (and 12.9 percent) in 2017. Most digital video ad spending goes to mobile devices, as 60 percent of the total was on mobile video.

blockchain IAB advanced tv targeting vast 4.1 Digital Ad SpendMobile is far larger than desktop now, taking in 63 percent of all digital ad revenue. That’s an impressive jump from H1 2017, where it took 54 percent of all revenue. Mobile search is responsible for 59 percent of all search revenue.

“This landmark figure cements digital advertising—whether display, search, or mobile video—as one of the most powerful mechanisms of all time for brands to build relationships with consumers,” says Randall Rothenberg, CEO of the IAB. “It’s a truth upon which direct-to-consumer brands have built their businesses, and from which all businesses can benefit.”

Digital video is seeing a surge in popularity, especially on mobile devices, notes Anna Bager, executive vice president of industry initiatives at the IAB.

The largest share of the pie went for search ads, which accounted for 46.1 percent of digital spending ($22.8 billion), followed by banner ads with 31.8 percent ($15.7 billion).

“Half-year digital advertising spend in 2018 outpaced the last few years,” added Sue Hogan, senior vice president of research and measurement at the IAB. “Typically, first half revenue trends lower than second half. That we’ve see 23 percent growth this year from January through June, while simultaneously witnessing the continued decline in ad spend on traditional media, indicates that the industry dollars—which were slow to follow actual consumer behavior—are now aligning appropriately.”

The full report is available for free online (no registration required).


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