Digital ad revenue surged into triple digits for the first time. In 2018, digital ad revenues surpassed $100 billion, reaching $107.5 billion.
Digital advertising has broken its previous record. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, IAB, this growth is up from $88 billion that occurred the previous year. Meanwhile, the growth is not surprising, it has been in the works for the past few years.
For example, in 2016, mobile ad revenue surpassed desktop for the first time. Today, IAB says that mobile captured nearly 65 percent, or $70 billion in 2018. With mobile doing well, it is natural that desktop is dwindling. With that being said, desktop only captured 35% of 2018’s revenues, down from 43% in 2017.
Supporting mobile’s success is social media, which also saw great ad revenue growth in 2018. Social media ad revenue grew to $29 billion, up nearly 31% when compared to the previous year. The IAB believes the story formats of Instagram and Snapchat have fueled social’s growth.
One reason behind the story formats, is that companies are using a more direct-to-consumer approach. With that being said, companies are using consumer data including purchasing and browsing history to let advertisers reach audiences in a programmatic environment. For example, elements such as shoppable ads within Instagram are easily turning clicks into conversions.
Another digital medium that saw a spike in ad revenues was video, which increased 37% to $16.3 billion.
Digital ad revenues success goes hand in hand with the enormous amount of time people are accessing the internet. In 2018, there were 257 million digital users. While this is only up 1 % from the previous year, people are still spending much more time online than they ever did before, due to social media.