The Digital Ad Market: Growing, Challenging, and Complex

Posted by Apomaya on Sep 13, 2019 2:17:33 PM

eMarketer forecasts that in 2019, digital ad spending in the U.S. will surpass traditional ad spending for the first time—reaching about $129 billion or 54.2% of the total U.S. spending. The market researcher also estimates that by 2021, digital ad spending will approach $172 billion.

Four out of every five digital display ad dollars in the U.S. are being bought programmatically, with video comprising over 80% of the estimated mobile display total spend.

Despite continued growth, digital advertising remains challenging and complex, especially in programmatic media. The greatest challenge is lack of transparency, which fuels distrust among consumers toward publishers and brands, and also among publishers, advertisers, and other players throughout the digital supply chain.

Compounding the climate of distrust is enormous online ad spend waste. Nielsen reports that 56% of online ad campaign impressions are lost due to either fraud or off-target audiences. An ad can’t be effective if it’s never seen or if only the wrong audience views it.

Some brand marketers are shifting their programmatic budgets toward more reputable publishers and paying only for verified and viewable ads that appear as promised. Some companies, like Procter & Gamble, have given their digital advertising partners an ultimatum: Fix your advertising flaws or lose our business.

Beyond Ads: Monetizing Digital Content

Many publishers are hindered by today’s digital advertising model, where a significant share of ad spend is concentrated on a few large platforms. In an uneven playing field, publishers need to seek new revenue streams beyond display advertising. Few of the leading publishers believe that display advertising on its own can cover the cost of producing quality premium content.

To increase their monetization efforts, publishers are beefing up subscriptions and memberships, developing events, and testing new platforms, says eMarketer. Personalized content also gets high priority.

Meanwhile, advertisers are increasingly seeking publishers they believe can offer more informed targeting. Today’s winning publishers are those who can use high-quality customer data to create premium content finely tailored to the needs of their audiences.

There’s not much better than getting the right ad to the right person at the right time.


Innovecs, “Key Challenges and Digital Advertising Trends to Watch in 2019”

eMarketer, “U.S. Digital Ad Spending Will Pass Traditional in 2019”

eMarketer, “The Challenges Publishers Face in Monetizing Digital Content”

Topics: +digital ads, advertising, +marketing

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