18 Bullish Stats About the State of U.S. Advertising

Digital spending will grow 16% this year. Mobile? 22%

Mobile ad spending will grow 22% this year, eMarketer says. Getty Images
Headshot of David Griner

With so much existential debate around the future of agencies, the impact of automation and prophecies about the end of advertising as we know it, one can be forgiven for feeling that the industry is in a dark place.

And, to be sure, there are quite a few shadows looming over the ad business in 2017. But if you need a booster shot of positivity, you don’t need to look much farther than a “cheat sheet” of ad spending stats that eMarketer has put together just in time for Advertising Week New York.

There’s a lot of good news in the numbers, from the ongoing expansion of digital (especially mobile) ad spending to the success of emerging technology like addressable TV, which has grown to claim more than $1.2 billion per year.

Of course, there are also some ominous trends, like the massive amount of industry dollars that continue to flow into the duopoly of Facebook and Google, a consolidation that doesn’t sit well with many power players outside those Silicon Valley juggernauts.

So check out the numbers below and decide for yourself whether they bode well for the ad industry:

The big picture

• 5.2 percent is how much total U.S. ad spending—including digital and traditional outlets like TV, radio and outdoor—will increase in 2017. That puts the new total spend at $205 billion, eMarketer says.

• 15.9 percent is the increase in digital ad spending this year, hitting $83 billion in 2017.

• 40.5 percent of all U.S. media spending is now digital. At this rate, the 50 percent mark might not be too far in the future.

• 34 percent growth is expected for social network ad spending, which in 2017 will, for the first time, make up more than a quarter of digital spending. This year’s expected total for social networks, eMarketer says, will be $21.1 billion.

Dollars going to the Duopoly

• 42.2 percent of all U.S. digital ad spending will go to Google. That’s a whopping $35 billion.

• 33.1 percent of U.S. mobile ad spending will be paid to Google, tallying $18.9 billion.

• 20.9 percent of all U.S. digital ad dollars will go to Facebook. That’s $17.4 billion.

• 26.8 percent of mobile ad spending in the U.S. will run via Facebook. That’s $15.3 billion in mobile alone.

• 4.3 percent of digital ad dollars will, by way of comparison, go to the No. 3 player: Microsoft, which includes LinkedIn. That’s $3.6 billion, and while eMarketer predicts Microsoft’s dollar will rise in coming years, its slice of the digital pie is expected to shrink to 3.8 percent by 2019.

Marketers going mobile

• 22.1 percent is how much mobile ad spending will grow this year, hitting a new high of $57 billion.

• 70.3 percent of digital ad spending in 2017 will be mobile.

Elsewhere in advertising:

• 0.5 percent is how much TV ad spending will grow this year. That’s sluggish compared to digital, but it still totals a massive $71.7 billion.

• $1.26 billion this year will go to addressable TV—also known as targeted TV—which aims to bring the benefits of programmatic to TV buying.

• 27.8 percent is how fast programmatic display ad spending will grow this year, hitting $32.6 billion.

• 13 percent growth is expected for U.S. search spending, reaching $36.7 billion.

• 19.6 percent is how much U.S. display ad spending will grow, totaling $41.7 billion.

• 15.9 percent is the estimated growth for digital video ad spending, which will total $13.2 billion.

• 12.3 percent of the U.S. population, or 40 million people, will engage with augmented reality at least once a month this year, a stat eMarketer says has increased 30.2 percent over 2016.

@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."