Digital Ad Growth For Retail Media Poses Threat To Publishers

  • by September 23, 2021
The U.S. ad market has shown signs of a strong recovery from last year’s pandemic recession, though the gains have been uneven among different media channels. Publishers are among the media companies that also face growing competition from retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target that sell digital ad space.

Ecommerce channel ad spending will grow 28% this year to $23.9 billion and make up about 13% of the U.S. digital ad market, according to eMarketer. The researcher forecast the growth will continue for the next several years, with retailers maintaining their share of the market in a range of 13% to 15%.

By keeping their share of the digital ad market steady, retailer media networks will reap the benefits of the broader shift in spending to online channels. That will continue to pressure traditional publishers to pull back on print distribution and expand their digital businesses. The digital ad market will mature during the next decade and show growth rates that are more consistent with the broader economy.
Ad spending expanded by about 18% from a year earlier in August, Media Daily News reported, citing data from Standard Media Index. That kind of growth would be extraordinary in most years, but marks a slowdown from the more than 50% jump in April. Of course, the comparison isn’t entirely fair, considering that ad spending had plunged 35% in April 2020 amid lockdowns.   
The growth rate for the remainder of the year will slow to single digits as the more infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 hampers the broader economy. If last year’s pattern is repeated, infections and deaths will jump to record highs during the winter months as people spend more time indoors. Ideally, vaccinations and natural immunity will prevent this surge, but so far this year is shaping up to be worse than 2020.



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