As consumers' appetite for digital media grows, advertisers are increasingly looking to get a piece of the pie.
The amount of advertising dollars in major digital channels soared 35% from 2020 to 2021 to $189 billion, with big jumps in video, audio and social media, according to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). That is up from the 12.2% increase the year prior, marking the biggest growth leap in digital channels since 2006, according to the report.
Although the gains underscore the growing popularity of digital platforms, there is concern within the industry that the stream of funds could slow as digital media channels continue to face uncertainties surrounding privacy regulation and other industry issues.
The study, which was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, shows digital audio captured the highest year-over-year growth with $4.9 billion in advertising revenue, up 57.9% from the previous year. Digital video also continues to be one of the fastest-growing channels, up 50.8% from 2020, with total revenues of $39.5 billion, according to the report.
“We fully expected 2021 to be an exceptional year for digital ad growth, but even we were surprised at the degree of acceleration. Not only was every single digital channel up, but some were up more than 50% year on year,” said Libby Morgan, senior VP, chief strategy officer, IAB.
A recent study from Harvard Business School, commissioned by IAB, found the internet economy has grown seven times faster than the U.S. economy and now comprises 12% of GDP.