Despite the pandemic-fueled headwinds that resulted in marketers slashing budgets, U.S. digital ad revenue still managed to increase more than 12% in 2020 to $140 billion, according to a new report commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and conducted by consulting firm PwC.
With the pandemic keeping audiences at home and on screens for most of the day, the industry benefited from a surge in the number of digitally-connected consumers during lockdowns, according to the report.
“The second half of 2020 made up for the rather abrupt drop in advertising revenue experienced toward the end of the second quarter,” Susan Hogan, senior VP, research and analytics, IAB, said in a statement. “We not only had a rebound, we also had double-digit growth. The Q4 holiday season sales, typical use-it-or-lose-it year-end spending of media budgets, and revenue from political advertising all helped to offset the early COVID-19-induced decline.”