Table of Contents

Executive Summary

US healthcare and pharmaceutical advertisers will increase their digital ad spending by 20.1% to $3.62 billion in 2019. Meanwhile, total US digital ad spend will grow by 19.1% this year. While healthcare and pharma budgets are growing at a similar rate as other verticals, healthcare and pharma ad spend overall is much lower.

What is healthcare and pharma’s share of total US digital ad spend?

Healthcare and pharma will remain the smallest ad spending vertical. We anticipate that healthcare and pharma will account for just 2.8% of total US digital ad spend in 2019 and 2020.

Why does its share remain small?

Part of the reason that digital ad spend in healthcare and pharma has lagged is due to FDA regulations that restrict how prescription drugs can be advertised and data privacy compliance laws that make ad targeting more difficult.

Which digital ad formats are growing the fastest?

Search remains crucial for healthcare and pharma advertisers. Healthcare and pharma search spend will grow 24.9% this year to $1.34 billion. This industry is also seeing increased spending on social through platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

How much money will healthcare and pharma advertisers spend on mobile?

Mobile spend by US healthcare and pharma advertisers will increase 14.0% to $2.03 billion in 2019. However, total US mobile spend will increase by 22.3%. Healthcare and pharma advertisers continue to underindex on mobile as they navigate their digital transition.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report includes our annual breakdown of US healthcare and pharma industry digital ad spending. It includes a comprehensive overview of total digital ad spending, as well as estimates by channel, device and formats.

KEY STAT: The US healthcare and pharma industry will increase its digital ad spending by 20.1% to $3.62 billion in 2019.

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Ross Benes


Angela Kim
Senior Researcher
Oscar Orozco
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Victoria Petrock
Principal Analyst