Yet the report, now in its twenty-second year, has become predictable. On Thursday, the IAB will release its ad revenue report for 2017's full calendar year. Here, we predict what the IAB will say. (Come back and grade us tomorrow.)
'Another record breaking year'
The IAB will report the ninth consecutive record-breaking year for digital ad revenue, this time reaching about $85 billion, a 17 percent upswing from the same time last year. Growth was led by mobile, video and social. The old-but-new digital audio, which was included for the first time in the IAB's report on 2016, will also see increased attention. And search will still dominate all formats.
Mobile will command roughly 60 percent of all ad spend, up from 50 percent in 2016. Of all the formats on desktop, digital video will be the only one showing growth. Total digital video, including both mobile and desktop, will rise to $10 billion for 2017's full fiscal year, up 11 percent year-over-year.
Social, meanwhile, will continue to surge, generating nearly $21 billion in revenue last year, a 31 percent upswing from 2016.
The proliferation of smart speakers and mobile audio will contribute to growth in digital audio spending, with ad revenue of $1.3 billion, up 18 percent.
Search advertising will continue its dominance, commanding nearly half of all digital ad revenue in 2017.
Status of the duopoly
The IAB will not share how much revenue the so-called duopoly of Google and Facebook contributed toward 2017's record breaking year, stating it does not break out figures for individual companies. The trade body will, however, say that about 77 percent of all ad revenue came from the top 10 digital advertising companies.
When asked what the top 2 companies contributed toward 2017's bottom line, the IAB will either decline to comment or say they do not have that information. As is tradition.
Pivotal research analyst Brian Wieser might drop a note saying Google and Facebook gobble up 99 percent of all growth in digital advertising. Digital Content Next CEO Jason Kint will surely tweet some stats about the duopoly, too. (Or, in a plot twist, Wieser will say the duopoly lost a percentage point or two from its share of growth.)
Expect more emphasis on small business
Earlier this year, the IAB placed significant emphasis on how small businesses are contributing to overall ad spend, a first for the trade body. Expect more stats and figures, with more detailed information about mom-and-pop stores contributing spend in areas like social and search.