Digital Ads Reach $32.7 Billion in First Half of 2016

NEW YORK IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) announced that digital advertising revenues in the United States for the first half of 2016 have reached an all-time high, hitting $32.7 billion according to the latest IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report released by the industry trade group and prepared by PwC US. This represents a 19 percent increase over last year’s then record-setting half-year revenues of $27.5 billion.

In step with that accelerated growth, revenue from the second quarter of 2016 reached $16.9 billion, an 18 percent increase over the $14.3 billion from the same time period last year.

Other highlights from the 2016 Half-Year Report include:

  • Mobile revenue saw the largest year-over-year change, climbing to $15.5 billion, up 89% from $8.2 billion in HY 2015, representing 47% of total internet advertising revenue
  • Taking a deeper dive into mobile, video on smartphones and tablets saw strong triple-digit growth, reaching $1.6 billion in HY 2016, an impressive 178% rise from HY 2015
  • Mobile search took a significant uptick, realizing $7.4 billion in HY 2016, a 105% increase compared to $3.6 billion in HY 2015
  • Total digital video, including mobile and desktop, rose to $3.9 billion in HY 2016, up 51% from $2.6 billion in HY 2015
  • Total search, including mobile and desktop, accounts for half of all internet ad revenue, and hit $16.3 billion in HY 2016, a 19% hike over the $13.7 billion generated in HY 2015
  • Total social media revenues, including mobile and desktop, surged to $7 billion in HY 2016, a 57% rise compared to $4.4 billion in HY 2015
  • Of the sector verticals measured, the top three continue to amass nearly half of all ad spend (46%)—retail (21%), financial services (13%), and automotive (12%)

“These half-year revenues are a testament to the role of digital screens—especially mobile screens—in consumers’ increasingly connected lives,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “Marketers and brands clearly recognize the innate power of digital to offer immersive experiences and secure real-time engagement.”

“These numbers demonstrate the growing importance of mobile, showing us the increasing demand for digital video and search, available anytime, anywhere, in the palm of your hand,” said David Silverman, a partner at PwC US.

The following chart highlights half-year internet ad revenue since IAB began measuring it in 1996; dollar figures are rounded.

Historical Half-Year Revenue Growth (in millions)

Year Revenue % Growth
HY 16 $32,739 19%
HY 15 $27,481 19%
HY 14 $23,091 15%
HY 13 $20,066 18%
HY 12 $17,028 14%
HY 11 $14,941 23%
HY 10 $12,127 11%
HY 09 $10,900 -5%
HY 08 $11,510 15%
HY 07 $9,993 26%
HY 06 $7,909 37%
HY 05 $5,787 26%
HY 04 $4,599 40%
HY 03 $3,292 11%
HY 02 $2,978 -20%
HY 01 $3,720 -7%
HY 00 $4,013 147%
HY 99 $1,627 110%
HY 98 $774 125%
HY 97 $344 320%
HY 96 $82
Total $215,001