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Digital Ad Revenues Grow 19% Year-Over-Year in First Half of 2016, Hitting Landmark High of $32.7 Billion

Mobile Surges 89% Compared to Same Time Period Last Year, Representing Nearly Half of All Internet Ad Revenue, With Mobile Video and Mobile Search Seeing Unprecedented Triple-Digit Growth

Digital Video Increases 51% Over Half-Year 2015

NEW YORK, NY (November 1, 2016)IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) announced today that digital advertising revenues in the United States for the first half of 2016 have reached an all-time high, scaling to $32.7 billion according to the latest IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report released by the industry trade group and prepared by PwC US. This represents a 19 percent increase over last year’s then record-setting half-year revenues of $27.5 billion.

In step with that accelerated growth, revenue from the second quarter of 2016 reached $16.9 billion, an 18 percent increase over the $14.3 billion from the same time period last year.

Other highlights from the 2016 Half-Year Report include:

  • Mobile revenue saw the largest year-over-year change, climbing to $15.5 billion, up 89% from $8.2 billion in HY 2015, representing 47% of total internet advertising revenue
  • Taking a deeper dive into mobile, video on smartphones and tablets saw strong triple-digit growth, reaching $1.6 billion in HY 2016, an impressive 178% rise from HY 2015
  • Mobile search took a significant uptick, realizing $7.4 billion in HY 2016, a 105% increase compared to $3.6 billion in HY 2015
  • Total digital video, including mobile and desktop, rose to $3.9 billion in HY 2016, up 51% from $2.6 billion in HY 2015
  • Total search, including mobile and desktop, accounts for half of all internet ad revenue, and hit $16.3 billion in HY 2016, a 19% hike over the $13.7 billion generated in HY 2015
  • Total social media revenues, including mobile and desktop, surged to $7 billion in HY 2016, a 57% rise compared to $4.4 billion in HY 2015
  • Of the sector verticals measured, the top three continue to amass nearly half of all ad spend (46%)—retail (21%), financial services (13%), and automotive (12%)

“These half-year revenues are a testament to the role of digital screens—especially mobile screens—in consumers’ increasingly connected lives,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “Marketers and brands clearly recognize the innate power of digital to offer immersive experiences and secure real-time engagement.”

“These numbers demonstrate the growing importance of mobile, showing us the increasing demand for digital video and search, available anytime, anywhere, in the palm of your hand,” said David Silverman, a partner at PwC US.

“Consumers’ appetite to enjoy media—in particular video and social media—on smartphones and tablets provides marketers with the opportunity to connect and interact with their customers while they are on the go, in a very personal environment,” said David Doty, Executive Vice President and CMO, IAB.

The following chart highlights half-year internet ad revenue since IAB began measuring it in 1996; dollar figures are rounded.

Historical Half-Year Revenue Growth (in millions)

Year Revenue % Growth
HY 16 $32,739 19%
HY 15 $27,481 19%
HY 14 $23,091 15%
HY 13 $20,066 18%
HY 12 $17,028 14%
HY 11 $14,941 23%
HY 10 $12,127 11%
HY 09 $10,900 -5%
HY 08 $11,510 15%
HY 07 $9,993 26%
HY 06 $7,909 37%
HY 05 $5,787 26%
HY 04 $4,599 40%
HY 03 $3,292 11%
HY 02 $2,978 -20%
HY 01 $3,720 -7%
HY 00 $4,013 147%
HY 99 $1,627 110%
HY 98 $774 125%
HY 97 $344 320%
HY 96 $82
Total $215,001

Comparison of 2015 and 2016 Data (in millions)

Revenue (Ad Formats) Half Year

Half Year
2016

Half Year
2015
% Change
HY16 /
HY15
Difference
HY16 –
HY15
Search $8,895 27% $10,051 37% -12% ($1,156)
Classifieds and Directories $1,065 3% $1,490 5% -29% ($425)
Lead Generation $947 3% $931 3% 2% $16
Mobile $15,518 47% $8,230 30% 89% $7,288
Display-Related
    – Digital Video Commercials $2,252 7% $1,992 7% 13% $260
    – Display $3,385 10% $3,751 14% -10% ($366)
    – Rich Media $491 1% $686 2% -28% ($195)
    – Sponsorships $186 1% $350 1% -47% ($164)
        Total Display-Related $6,314 19% $6,779 25% -7% ($465)
Total $32,739 100% $27,481 100% 19% $5,258
Revenue (Mobile Format Breakout)
Search $7,431 48% $3,628 44% 105% $3,803
Display-Related
    – Display Banners / Rich Media /
Sponsorships
$6,004 39% $3,714 45% 62% $2,290
    – Display Digital Video $1,628 10% $585 7% 178% $1,043
        Total Display-Related $7,632 49% $4,299 52% 78% $3,333
Other $455 3% $303 4% 50% $152
Total $15,518 100% $8,230 100% 89% $7,288
Revenue (Mobile and Display Breakout)
Search $16,326 50% $13,679 50% 19% $2,647
Display-Related
    – Display Banners / Rich Media /
Sponsorships
$10,066 31% $8,501 31% 18% $1,565
    – Display Digital Video $3,880 12% $2,577 9% 51% $1,303
        Total Display-Related $13,946 43% $11,078 40% 26% $2,868
Other $2,467 8% $2,724 10% -9% ($257)
Total $32,739 100% $27,481 100% 19% $5,258

Revenue (Pricing Models)

Half Year
2016
Half Year
2015
Impression-based $11,112 34% $8,901 32%
Performance-based $21,158 65% $18,098 66%
Hybrid $469 1% $481 2%

IAB sponsors the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, which is conducted independently by the New Media Group of PwC. The results are considered a reasonable measurement of interactive advertising revenues because the data is compiled directly from information supplied by companies selling advertisements on the internet.

The survey includes data concerning online advertising revenues from web sites, commercial online services, free email providers, and all 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.

View the full report at iab.com/internetadrevenue

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. It is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns. Together, they account for 86 percent of online advertising in the United States. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. The organization is committed to professional development, elevating the knowledge, skills, and expertise of individuals across the digital marketing industry. The IAB also educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City.

About PwC US
At PwC US, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems: “We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 208,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory, and tax services.” Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com/us.

© 2016 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the US member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
347.683.1859
[email protected]

PwC Media Contact
Carey Bodenheimer
213.392.9684
[email protected]