US Online Ad Market Made $20 Billion in Six Months

Scott Lambert


The figures are out for the first half of 2013 and they show that the US online advertising market is at an all time high. Over $3bn up on the same period last year, the figures show a resilient rate of growth that belies suggestions the market is reaching saturation point.

The research was commissioned by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), which represents 500 major US media and technology businesses, and was conducted independently by the New Media Group of PwC. “Digital has steadily increased its ability to captivate consumers and then capture the marketing dollars that follow,” said the IAB CEO and president, Randall Rothenberg. “Mobile advertising’s breakneck growth is evidence that marketers are recognizing the tremendous power of smaller screens. Digital video is also on a positive trajectory, delivering avid viewership and strong brand-building opportunities.”

Indeed, mobile-based advertising is one of the big success stories to emerge from this new data. It now accounts for 15% of total revenue in the sector, up steeply from previous years. This developing trend is something the big companies were already aware of, hence the recent efforts that have been made by the likes of Google and Bing to make their services more mobile-friendly. Online video, meanwhile, shows a steadier rate of growth, probably because it usually functions as part of a larger campaign rather than being used as a independent marketing tool. Until one of the big online video companies starts offering click to call for direct conversions, this is how it is likely to remain.

“This report not only confirms that brands are making a greater commitment to interactive but also points to the fact that mobile and digital video are being identified as integral elements of the marketing mix,” said PwC’s David Silverman.

By far the biggest sector of the market remains search, despite it showing a slight drop in percentage terms compared with the same period last year. In straight revenue terms, it is actually up 7% (around $8.7bn), although surveys suggest that search engines themselves are increasingly unpopular with users.

Email advertising continues to languish at the bottom of the list, responsible for a comparatively tiny $78m in revenue; of course, this should not be taken to mean that email advertising is so useless that no one is bothering with it. What this dataset does not show is how the spend breaks down across different market sectors.

Scott Lambert

Written by Scott Lambert

For 35 years, Scott has been at the forefront of digital transformation and how it is effectively applied in businesses and organizations to market, sell, and support customers and members more successfully and cost effectively. Scott is President and Co-Founder of Xcellimark, an award-winning digital marketing agency serving clients throughout the U.S., Canada, Central America, and Germany. Xcellimark helps businesses succeed through the implementation of its unique digital marketing and sales approach specifically designed to meet their specific goals and objectives. Scott’s marketing, sales, and operations experience have included key management positions at industry leaders including AT&T, iXL (now SapientRazorfish), eSchool Solutions (now TalentED), and BellSouth, where he led the product development, marketing efforts, and market launch of BellSouth.net, the second public ISP developed in the U.S. Scott is the author of articles highlighted on leading online publishers such as LinkedIn, Business 2 Community, and he was recently featured by LinkedIn in the Entrepreneur magazine article on “No Time for Marketing? Hire a Freelancer.” His engaging personality and wealth of real-world and business experience make Scott a frequently requested speaker. Some of his engagements include being the featured speaker in a series of Orlando Business Journal seminars on Digital Marketing, speaking at the WSI London conference, and at international conferences in Belize. Scott has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Mississippi and a Master’s of Science in the Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Scott has been active in global mission efforts and is a board member of Global Teams, a Christian outreach organization. He lives in Winter Springs, FL with his wife Nancy and dog Sadie.

Topics: Inbound Marketing

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