Thanks to programmatic and increased mobile use, digital continues to be responsible for nearly all growth in local ads. With online advertising expected to increase by 42 percent this year—it grew 40 percent in 2014—even those legacy media brands who previously resisted the shift to digital have largely abandoned their opposition.
Research from Borrell Associates said that while some traditional media companies are only "selling a little digital stuff because it's easy but not really believing there's good money in it," many brands have "seen the light" and are investing heavily in creating more digital offerings. Additional competition comes from Internet "pureplays," which the report said are "gobbling up share" in their one-track focus.
"In 2015, these independent companies will account for nearly three-fourths of all digital advertising, elbowing out local media competitors who have tried for two decades to use their existing sales forces to also sell digital advertising," said Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates and the primary author of the report. This said, Borrell points out that traditional print and broadcast media are still a significant market force. At the end of 2014, they accounted for more than two-thirds of all advertising buys.
Of course, format matters—and tastes have evolved. "In 2015, it's clear that targeted banners and video advertising are hot, and paid search and static display are not," Borrell said, noting that targeted display has grown to a point that it will comprise 59 percent of all digital advertising this year.
And 38 percent of all online advertising was delivered on a mobile device. Borrell's research predicts this to climb to a whopping 70 percent by 2019.