Mobile & Social Push Digital Ad Spend Higher than Ever

A new report was released from the Interactive Advertising Bureau that showed significant growth in overall ad spend throughout the 2015 fiscal year.  The report gathered data from a variety of sources including online advertising revenue reports from websites, commercial services, email providers and other places that sell online advertising.

Looking just at domestic digital ad revenue in 2015, it shot up to an all-time high of $59.6 billion.  This is a growth of about 20% from the previous year (which was at the time a record).

The majority of the growth was in the segments of mobile and social, which won’t come as a surprise to anyone.  Mobile grew by 66% to $20.7 Billion, which is quite impressive.  Social went up by 55% to $10.9 Billion, which is obviously excellent as well.

The IAB’s VP of research, analytics and measurement said of the reports information, “Six consecutive years of unabated growth, coupled with the fact that the industry has now been measuring revenue for 20 years, I think this is pretty stupendous.  The fact viewability and combating ad fraud has reduced supply, but revenue and pricing is growing, means there is a high demand for higher-priced inventory.”

While the main focus is on social and mobile when it comes to growth, other sectors also performed surprisingly well.  Search based digital advertising grew by 8% to $20.5 billion.  Search is one of the most well-established forms of digital advertising, which makes it impressive that they continued to record such an increase.

The categories that drove the increase in ad spend were also looked at.  Retail advertising continues to be the largest single category, with 22% of the total spend.  Automotive and financial services each accounted for 13% of the spend in 2015, making them the #2 and #3 spots.

Growth in digital ad spend is expected to continue throughout 2016.  Some, however, are starting to question how long the straight upward trend can continue at such high numbers.

What's your opinion?