US Digital Ad Revenues a record $59.6bn in 2015: report

US Digital Ad Revenues reached an all-time high of $59.6 billion in 2015, according to the full-year IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, released end April by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and prepared by PwC US. This marks a 20 percent surge over the earlier record-breaking 2014 revenues of $49.5 billion – and represents the sixth year in a row of double-digit growth for the industry. In addition, the report shows that 2015’s fourth-quarter numbers reached $17.4 billion, a 23 percent increase from $14.2 billion in Q4 2014, and an 18 percent increase from the $14.7 billion in 2015’s third-quarter.

Mobile, Digital video lead Digital Ad Revenue growth

  • Mobile advertising skyrocketed to $20.7 billion during FY 2015, a 66 percent hike over the 2014 total of $12.5 billion
  • Digital video (non-mobile), a component of display-related advertising, reached $4.2 billion in 2015, a 30 percent rise over $3.3 billion in 2014
  • Social media advertising brought in $10.9 billion in 2015, up 55 percent over 2014’s $7 billion
  • Search (non-mobile) revenues reached $20.5 billion in 2015, up 8 percent from $19 billion in 2014
  • Display-related advertising (non-mobile) revenues in 2015 totaled $13.9 billion, representing 23 percent of the year’s revenues, an uptick of 3 percent over $13.5 billion in 2014
  • Retail advertisers continue to represent the largest category of internet ad spending, responsible for 22 percent last year, followed by automotive and financial services which each accounted for 13 percent of the year’s revenues

“Mobile’s impressive upswing is a testament to its increasing importance to marketers,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “Digital video is also seeing strong growth, and we anticipate brands and media buyers will drive further excitement about the future of the medium at the upcoming Digital Content NewFronts.”

U.S. Internet Ad Revenues Hit Landmark $59.6 Billion in 2015 – a 20% Uptick Over Record-Breaking Numbers in 2014 to mark 6th running Year of Double-Digit Growth

Q4 2015 Reached $17.4 Billion, Rising 23% Over Same Period in 2014

“Internet advertising was a disruptive innovation when the industry was formed,” said David Silverman, partner, PwC US. “Twenty years later we still see double-digit growth rates, including 20 percent in 2015. Three key disruptive trends – mobile, social, and programmatic – continue to fuel this exceptional rate of growth.”

Sherill Mane

“There is no question that interactive screens are attracting consumers and the advertisers that want to reach them where they live – increasingly on mobile devices,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB.

Here are the results from the full-year in comparison with last year’s numbers:

IAB 2015 Full Year Report on US Digital Ad Revnues
Comparison of 2015 and 2014 Data (in millions)

Full Year

Full Year

Revenue (Ad Formats)%$%$
Classifieds and Directories5%$2,6905%$2,757
Lead Generation4%$1,8663%$1,756
    – Digital Video Commercials7%$3,2547%$4,236
    – Ad banners / display ads16%$8,04913%$7,745
    – Sponsorships2%$7741%$649
    – Rich media3%$1,4102%$1,251
        Total display-related27%$13,48723%$13,881
Revenue (Pricing Models)

The survey includes data concerning online advertising revenues from Web sites, commercial online services, free email providers, and other companies selling online advertising. The full report is issued twice yearly for full- and half-year data, and top-line quarterly estimates are issued for the first and third quarters. PwC does not audit the information and provides no opinion or other form of assurance with respect to the information.

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