Digital ad spend reached an all-time high of $88 billion in 2017 — a 21% increase over the previous year’s $72.5 billion — according to the new IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report prepared by PwC US and provided to Marketing Dive. This marks the first time in the history of the IAB report that digital ad revenue has overtaken television.
Mobile claimed 57% of total ad revenues in 2017. Mobile spend increased 36% year-over-year to $49.9 billion in 2017 from $36.6 billion in 2016. Digital video also hit a record in 2017 at $11.9 billion, a 33% year-over-year increase from $8.9 billion in 2016. Video grew 54% to $6.2 billion on mobile devices, the first time mobile video revenues overtook desktop video.
Social media advertising rose 36% to $22.2 billion from $16.3 billion in 2016. Search reached $40.6 billion, an 18% increase over 2016. Banner advertising is up 23% to $27.5 billion — 67% came from mobile banners. Digital audio grew 39% to $1.6 billion.
Despite growing questions about how effective digital ads are — and how transparently digital campaigns are measured — investments continue to pour into the space, with mobile as a standout channel contributing to that momentum.
Mobile has been a driving force in part thanks to formats like video, as consumers spend more of their time watching content on smaller screens. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have increased their live and original video programming offerings considerably over the past year or so to accommodate these shifting viewing habits. Marketers have also ramped up investments in mobile to meet the on-the-go-needs of consumers, and mobile advertising is projected to grow 3x faster than total media this year, eMarketer forecasts.
These trends make digital’s usurpation of television a significant landmark but not a surprising one.
The IAB’s report is also in-line with other recent industry research around digital advertising’s continued, explosive growth. Magna’s 2018 advertising forecast predicts digital ad sales will reach $97 billion this year, and 60% of that is expected to come from mobile. The group said digital ad formats, including search, video, display and social, will account for 50% of total ad sales in 2018, hitting that benchmark a year earlier than previously forecast.