Commentary

Digital Advertising Revenues Reach Record $49.5B, The IAB Says

It’s time for sizing up and as NewFronts approach quickly, the Interactive Advertising Bureau today did its statistical roundup of 2014. 

By its tabulations, digital advertising revenues were $49.5 billion up 16% over the year before, and that marks the fifth straight year of double-digit growth. (Anything less than double digit about anything digital seems to be time for major panic.)

In a way, though, digital video, a part of display related advertising, was not that much of a story. Its revenues increased 17% to $3.3 billion which sounds good until you recognize that mobile advertising grabbed $12.5 billion and that’s a stunning, silly increase of 76%. And social media was up 57%, to $7 billion.

Less hot-- a lot less--was search advertising, up 3% but it still representing a whopping $19 billion worth of revenue.

All digital display advertising brought in $13.5 billion, up 5% from a year ago. But it represents 27% of all digital revenue, just ahead of the surging mobile sector, now at 25%.

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Who’s doing all the buying? Well, the usual suspects, in exactly the same proportion as a year ago, the IAB says.  Retail advertisers make up 21% followed by financial (13%) and automotive (12%),

The whole report is available online, and indeed, if it wasn't, now that would be big news.

ALL DIGITAL PROGRAMMATIC ADS ARE NOT LOCAL:  But that’s a hot area.  

Borrell Associates, which is a big player in that space, says that just 10% of all locally-placed digital advertising, amounting to about $5 billion, arrives via programmatic services.  

But it predicts most of it will be in five years, so that by 2019, that dollar total will soar to $47 billion. It predicts by then 61% of local digital advertising and 97% of national will be purchased via programmatic.

These changes aren’t being fully anticipated. Borrell says of 154 local digital managers it polled, about 70% have made no changes to their staffs dedicated to ad operations because of programmatic, and 55.3% don’t have a full-time programmatic manager.

pj@mediapost.com

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