Content Advertising Projected To Be $50 Billion Market By 2021

Content advertising is projected to grow into a $50 billion market by 2021 -- up from $12.8 billion in 2016, according to projections from Polar, a content marketing platform for publishers. That’s a growth rate of 32% year-over-year, and more than 2x the growth rate of digital advertising as a whole.

Polar described content advertising as the amount of digital ad dollars spent by brands on content programs. Further, it said that content will comprise 14% of all digital based on the estimates. Polar estimated that the global ad market will grow from $590 billion this year to $775 billion in 2021, at a rate of 7% year-over-year growth. Digital advertising is expected to be 48% of the market, while mobile represents 78% of that total.

With a complex and ever-changing advertising ecosystem, Polar offered suggestions as to how marketers might allocate their digital dollars to implement content advertising programs:

Social and Video Platforms: Facebook, YouTube, SnapChat, and other platforms have become a key distribution channel for content-led advertising programs. Advertisers can easily access massive scale with deep targeting capabilities on most platforms. Polar estimates that social and video platforms will grow at a 30% rate, from $7.3 billion in 2016 to $27.2 billion in 2021 (this is the portion of their revenue estimated to be used for content programs).

Advertising Networks: Teads, Outbrain, Google, and hundreds of other companies are aggregating ad inventory (supply) across the web and offering it at “wholesale rates” to advertisers to promote content. Polar noted that when more attention is paid to price versus quality, there is often a lack of transparency in terms of where an advertiser’s content will actually run. This segment will grow from $1.4 billion in 2016 to $3.6 billion over the next 5 years, with each sub-segment growing at different rates.

Publishers: BuzzFeed, AOL, Conde Nast, Hearst, News Corp., and Gannett are a few of the publishers that Polar cited as providing advertisers with a variety of content solutions, with quality content and trusted audiences. These types of publishers can add credibility to content and consumers’ experience of that content, which in turn allows advertisers attract audiences they may not be able to attract on their own. This segment will grow the most rapidly from $4.1 billion in 2016 to $20 billion by 2021.

3 comments about "Content Advertising Projected To Be $50 Billion Market By 2021".
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  1. Aarona Jordan from CBS Digital, February 13, 2017 at 10:54 a.m.

    Timely insight on the spend trend in content advertising.  Most will not be surprised that Polar cites publications as content partners, but savvy marketers are using the custom video, event and talent/influencer showcasing from CBS for best in class programs.  Want to learn more?

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 13, 2017 at 12:11 p.m.

    It's good to see that this forecast is made by a totally objective company with no stake in the outcome---right?

  3. Bob Gordon from The Auto Channel, February 13, 2017 at 3:21 p.m.

    Sounds like the soap companies attempts to cut out the middleman back in the 1920's .Why not just support the independent content producers? Who in their right mind will believe any competitive information from a manufacturer... 

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