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Ad Spend in Digital Video Continues to Accelerate: Marketers Report an Increase for Digital Video Budgets of 25% Year-Over-Year According to IAB Research

8 in 10 NewFronts Attendees Report Greater Investment in Original Digital Content Due to Participation in the Event

NEW YORK, NY (April 29, 2019) — Increased popularity in digital video viewing has prompted greater video marketing investment across platforms—from mobile to over-the-top (OTT)—according to the “Digital Content NewFronts: 2019 Video Ad Spend Report,” released today by IAB, the national trade association for the digital media and marketing industries. The research reveals that brands are expected, on average per advertiser, to increase spend by over 25 percent to $18 million on digital video in 2019, with $9.3 million allocated to original content. In 2018, advertisers, on average per advertiser, spent $14.2 million on digital video advertising, up from $12.1 million in 2017. Last year, advertisers on average spent $7.1 million on original digital video specifically.

The report shows that the NewFronts are a prominent driver of this growth. According to the research, 84 percent of advertisers attending reported that the event has a significant influence on original digital video spending. Moreover, 8 out of 10 advertisers agree that their attendance resulted in increased spending on original digital video content, and more than half of attendees reported that the NewFronts resulted in greater spending throughout the year.

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands that have marketing budgets greater than $1 million per year are shown to be digital video fans. Of this group, 78 percent plan to increase their ad spend on digital video in the next 12 months, and these DTC ad buyers are expected to boost their investment by 50 percent over a year ago—a faster pace than buyers for incumbent brands.

Other key findings include:
• New digital video ad formats are expected to have significant increase in adoption in 2019–particularly stories and shoppable ads
• Nearly two-thirds (59%) of ad buyers plan to increase their advanced TV spend in the next 12 months, with half reporting increases in OTT
• Buyers report that half of digital video budgets will be spent through programmatic buys
• 7 in 10 digital video advertisers currently use influencers in their digital video advertising
• More than 8 in 10 advertisers agree that a unified multi-platform buying solution (TV + digital video) is important

“Digital video is growing—not only are the dollar figures rising rapidly, but advertisers are eager to adopt new digital video formats as well” said Anna Bager, Executive Vice President, Industry Initiatives, IAB. “Between the findings in this report, and the excitement for original video content showcased at the NewFronts, it’s clear marketers are embracing original digital content as a central part of their marketing mix.”

“The availability of, and demand for high-quality video content across screens—from OTT to mobile and everywhere in between—is breaking down traditional silos between TV and digital video,” said Eric John, Deputy Director, IAB Digital Video Center of Excellence. “This year’s report clearly points out that buyers are looking for more unified approaches to planning, executing, and measuring video campaigns across platforms. The more the industry pivots to make good on the promise of ‘video everywhere,’ the more we can expect digital video budgets to increase.“

To download the complete “Digital Content NewFronts: Video Ad Spend Report 2019,” please visit

The research was conducted by Advertiser Perceptions, which surveyed 350 marketer and agency executives online from February 18 – March 1, 2019. Direct-to-Consumer marketers comprise 17 percent of the total sample. To qualify, these executives needed to be involved in digital video advertising decision-making at a company responsible for $1M+ total ad spend in 2018, and have familiarity with the Digital Content NewFronts.

About the Digital Content NewFronts
The Digital Content NewFronts is an annual series of events founded by Digitas, Google/YouTube, Hulu, Microsoft, and Verizon Media (formerly known as AOL and Yahoo), in 2012. It is committed to the creation of valuable partnerships between brands and native digital content. Our mission is to shape the NewFronts into a new and practical marketplace for connecting the wealth of digital content and content creators to brands and their media and marketing agencies.

About IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, it develops technical practices. IAB and the IAB Education Foundation are committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., IAB advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City and has a San Francisco office.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]