Digital Ad Spending Spiked 35% in 2021
Digital ad spending experienced record-breaking 35% growth in 2021, according to a new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). In 2021 the overall U.S. spend to have a digital advertising presence was $189 billion. It climbed from just under $140 billion in 2020.
This accounts for the largest gains in digital ad spends in the U.S. in 16 years, when digital advertising accounted for only $17 billion in 2006.
Internet advertising revenue, 2019–2021.
Ad revenues spending was particularly driven by an increase in digital video, which was up 51%, accounting for $40 billion of that sum. Other top-growing advertising mediums included digital audio—inc. podcasts and streamed music and radio— growing by an impressive 58%, to $4.9 billion.
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Social media spending was up by 39% this past year to reach $57.7 billion, while mobile spending was up 37% to reach $135 billion, while search engine related ad spending grew 133% to reach $78.3 billion in 2021.
The report also noted that 10 digital publishers and platforms accounted for more than three-quarters—about 78.6%—of that total digital ad revenue last year. Its no wonder why Elon Musk is willing to fork over $44 billion to take control of Twitter’s platform.
According to another IAB-commissioned study, done in conjunction with Harvard Business School, found the Internet economy has grown 7X faster than the U.S. economy over the last four years, now accounting for 12% of total U.S. GDP.