Digital Video Advertising to Grow at Annual Double-Digit Rates - eMarketer

Newsletters Sign-Up

Plans & Pricing

Does My Company Subscribe?

Digital Video Advertising to Grow at Annual Double-Digit Rates

US digital video ad spending will continue to grow at a pace that exceeds TV advertising growth through 2020

June 20, 2016

eMarketer expects US digital video ad spending will see double-digit growth annually through 2020. By contrast, TV ad spending will grow much more modestly, at rates ranging from 2.0% to 2.5%. Still, TV will remain dominant, with total ad spending reaching $77.17 billion in 2020, more than quadruple the $16.69 billion for digital video, as explored in a new eMarketer report, “Digital Video Trends Q2 2016: Monetization, Audience, Platforms and Content.”

US TV* vs. Digital Video** Ad Spending, 2014-2020 (billions and % change)

A NewBay Media study sponsored by Akamai showed that 73% of US TV and video professionals polled planned to monetize their content with ads in Q1 2016, while 59% planned to use subscriptions. Those two methods beat out pay-per-view (37%) and electronic sales (34%).

Research firm Advertiser Perceptions found that 38% of US marketers it surveyed in December 2015 planned to draw funds from their broadcast budgets to support digital video ad spending. This was followed closely by print (36%) and cable (29%).

The same study found 72% of marketers planned to invest those digital video ad dollars with YouTube in the next 12 months. Comparatively, 46% of marketers intended to use Facebook, while other platforms including Hulu, ABC and Yahoo garnered less representation. This shows that even though Facebook and others are strong contenders in the video space, YouTube remains the go-to platform for roughly three-quarters of brands that do digital video advertising.

Leading Brands that US Marketers Intend to Use for Digital Video Advertising, Dec 2015 (% of respondents)

An April 2016 study from ad tech firm Videology showed that viewability continued to be a top campaign objective for US advertisers in Q1 2016. Viewable rate was a goal for 52% of campaigns served by Videology, compared with 48% for viewthrough rate and 38% for clickthrough rate. Actions and conversions did not register as major objectives. The data is a reminder that a video ad only works when it’s seen, and that video advertising remains fundamentally a branding pursuit.

Separate Q1 2016 study by ad platform Extreme Reach found the average viewability rate for digital video ads worldwide was 47%. This was based on activity on its own platform, which is predominantly US-based. Predictably, viewability was significantly higher for premium ads placed directly (62%) than for ads placed through networks and exchanges (42%). There was very little variability by ad length.

Viewability Rate for Digital Video Ads Worldwide*, by Ad Length and Purchase Method, 2015 (among impressions served by Extreme Reach)

Although the average viewability rate did not change significantly in Q1 2016 from the full year before, there was a marked improvement in the rate for publisher-direct ads. In Q1 2016, these ads had an average viewability rate of 62%, compared with 55% in 2015.

And while the Extreme Reach data shows a distinct increase in viewability, the digital video ad industry still has plenty of room for improvement when it comes to making sure its core product is seen by end-users.

eMarketer PRO customers can view the full report here.

Get more on this topic with the full eMarketer report, “Digital Video Trends Q2 2016: Monetization, Audience, Platforms and Content.”

eMarketer releases over 200 analyst reports per year, which are only available to eMarketer PRO customers.


  • Go beyond the articles:

    eMarketer Products

    You've never experienced research like this.

  • Hear from our clients:

    Customer Stories

    Nearly all Fortune 500 companies rely on us.

  • Want to learn more?

    Contact Us

    Inquire about corporate subscriptions today.