Digital Ad Revenues on Track to Pass $100 Billion (2018)

The IAB announced that US digital ad revenues hit $26.2 billion in Q3, 2018. Spending growth was roughly 21% compared with the same quarter in 2017. Overall, digital advertising brought in $75.8 billion during the first three quarters of 2018.

This suggests the full-year ad spending for 2018 will be close to $105 billion, which compares with $88 billion for 2017. For the first half of 2018, 63% of digital ad revenues were from mobile, according to the IAB.

As of 2017, digital ad spending became the largest single channel among the major media, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

US ad spending by major channels, in billions (2017) 

Digital advertising 2017

The IAB doesn’t track local digital spending. However, BIA projected (October 2018) that “almost two-thirds of [US businesses’] marketing dollars into activating local media ad platforms and the remainder into promotions.”

Below are BIA’s average annual marketing budgets by company size (trailing 12 months). Historically small businesses on average spent roughly $6,000 annually on advertising.

Promotions and ad spending past 12 months by firm size

BIA spending

The vast majority of businesses in the US are small businesses and most of them are concentrated at the lower end of the headcount spectrum. Roughly 78% of small businesses have no employees.

Among the remaining 6 million SMBs that have employees and (likely) spend money on marketing or advertising (including websites) the potential spend amounts is billions of dollars — hypothetically between $30 and $60 billion based on rough averages.

This doesn’t include enterprise spending that targets local consumers in specific markets.

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