IAB: Audience Data Spending Up 6% in 2019, But May Decline This Year

Brand marketers spending on data climbed 6% in 2019, according an IAB-backed study -- with stronger gains for digital media. But all that could sink in the current third-quarter period, due to COVID-19 issues.

The survey said respondents expect economic pressures will cause a sharp decline in data-related marketing budgets --  anywhere from 10% to 20% -- for the July through September period.

This comes after marketers' spending on third-party audience data in 2019 saw a 6.1% hike to $11.9 billion over 2020, as well as a 8.1% gain to $7.8 billion for activation solutions/platforms for that data.

Data spending for terrestrial media channels -- offline media, such direct mail, location-based media, telemarketing, and events -- was down 0.8% from 2018 to $6.1 billion. 

By contrast, digital media channels grew 13.8% to $5.1 billion in 2019. with advanced TV data spending up 19.5% to $700 million. 



The year before, in 2018, total data spending was 15.7% higher versus 2017.

The IAB survey says the slowdown came, in large part, to brands increasingly shifting spending to new first-party data efforts from third-party databases. This move was in response to a decreasing reliance on cookies. 

More recently, the survey says 57.1% of respondents increased use of first-party data for targeting over the past 18 months.

The survey came from 104 data executives -- users, suppliers and agency partners -- between April and May 2020.


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