US Digital Display Ad Spend to Surpass Search in 2016

David Murphy

mobileadvertisingscreenshot March 2014

Mobile fares well in eMarketer's latest report on digital advertising trends

Digital display ad spend will surpass search as spend in the US for the first time in 2016, according to the latest forecasts from eMarketer, contained in its report, US Digital Display Advertising Trends: Eight Developments to Watch for in 2016. Video, sponsorships, rich media and “banners and other” will account for $32.2bn (£22.4bn), or 47.9 per cent of the total, compared to the search total of $29.2bn (43.6 per cent).

Within the display segment, advertisers will invest the most on “banners and other,” which includes native ads which have become so popular on social media sites. Overall, one in five dollars devoted to digital in 2016 will go to “banners and other” digital display ad types. Video will also command a large portion of ad spending allocated to digital in 2016: 14.3 per cent, up from 12.8 per cent in 2015. Rich media will account for 11.1 per cent of the total, up from 9.4 per cent in 2015, with the growth driven by growing adoption of “out-stream” and in-feed video ad formats.
Mobile also fares well. Of the $22.6bn spend on banners, rich media, sponsorships and other display-based digital formats in the US this year, 77.5 per cent, or $17.5bn, will be spent to reach individuals on mobile devices.

eMarketer notes that while the numbers look good, those on the digital display advertising coalface know that growth in ad dollars can only come from painstaking investment in things such as cross-device capabilities, programmatic advertising and ongoing efforts to address issues of ad viewability and fraud. These are the issues that it believes are most likely to affect digital display spending in 2016 and in the next few years to come.